It's really not difficult to see why cycling is one of the 'greenest' forms of transport out there.
With people increasingly concerned about global warming, carbon footprints, melting polar ice caps and the choking fumes within our city centres, two-wheeled propulsion is clearly better for the planet than the four or six-cylinder kind.
It's clearly very difficult to lead a modern lifestyle without resorting to the car, bus or train at least some of the time; travel is part of all our lives these days. But for shorter journeys, commuting to work and general fun and fitness, cycling clearly has far less impact on the environment.
Why go green?
- Switching from four wheels to two for just some journeys could have a massive impact on the environment.
- It's not just the fossil fuels they consume, the greenhouse gasses they emit and the pollution that pours from their exhausts that makes cars so much more damaging.
- It takes a huge amount of raw materials and energy to build a car, far more than goes into the average bicycle.
- While bikes tend to last for decades and are comparatively easy to dispose of at the end of their useful life, cars rust, are considered old-fashioned much more quickly and are much more difficult to dispose of when replaced by a faster, shinier model.
- While bikes create no pollution, cars are a major source of the greenhouse gasses that are giving scientists and environmentalists such a massive headache at the moment - with the future of the planet possibly at stake.
- Bikes are virtually silent and make no contribution to the noise pollution that is another downside of modern life.
- Bikes take up less road space, don't cause traffic jams and are easier to park. Around 20 of them can be parked in the space taken up by an average car.
- Car maintenance results in waste products that need to be disposed of, such as oil that can harm the environment. Bike maintenance has minimal impact on the planet.
So when it comes to the environment, it is clear that whether you swap your carbon footprint for carbon fibre, or make do with a cheaper frame, cycling is as good for the planet as it is for your health.