Why choose your bike over your car: 10 green facts that will change your mind
The Bike to Work day is coming next May 20th, so let’s take a look to the following compelling reasons to #Change4Better and choose your bike to commute.
Bike to save money
According to Sierra Club, it costs just $308 per year to keep bikes in shape––nearly 30 times less than cars: "If American drivers were to make just one four-mile round trip each week with a bicycle instead of a car, they would save nearly 2 billion gallons of gas. At $4 per gallon, total savings would be $7.3 billion a year."
Reduce your carbon footprint
The energy to ride comes from the food you eat and that in turn has a carbon footprint. Anyway, the bike is nearly 10 times more carbon-efficient than the most efficient of petrol cars. On his book How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything, Mike Berners Lee said “One other thing: by taking my car off the road in rush hour, I cut everyone else's queuing time as well, and reduce the emissions they belch out while they wait. It's a little-known fact that a car on a congested road can produce as much as three times the amount of CO2 as the same car travelling at a steady speed.”
Breath healthier than inside public transport or cars
A new British study found that public transit riders are six times more likely to suffer from acute respiratory infections. Doctors advise to be careful in close quarters and the need to stay off the bus when you're contagious. If you think that your own car is safer, know that a study from UK’s Aston University in Birmingham found 283 different kinds of bacteria per square centimeter in the average car. There were extreme cases where 850 types of bacteria per square centimeter were detected.
Reduce the risk of bone fracture latter in life
Umeå University from Sweden follow a group of subjects that suffered from wrist fracture on their previous lifestyle habits. This study suggests that active commuting is associated with a lower wrist fracture risk, in middle-aged women.
Reduce risk of heart disease
3 hours of biking per week reduces the risk of heart disease by 50% while every extra hour spent in a car increases the likelihood of obesity on 6%.
Avoid suffocation from pollution
Being near or in traffic has an impact on our health and the environment, no matter what vehicle we choose. Studies show you get the biggest hit on polluted air when you’re inside a car, because its occupants are very close to sucking on the tailpipe of the vehicle just ahead of them and the car’s ventilation system has limited capabilities to filter the incoming air.
California is a bicycle friendly state
According to The League of American Bicyclists -The Bike League for short- California is the #8 Bike Friendly State countrywide, and #5 regional. 1% of Californians commute by bike, the state joined the Share The Road Campaign and has a 2% or more on dedicated State funding for bicycle usage development.
Impact on manufacturing a bike vs. hybrid cars
Hybrid cars are much larger than bikes, so they demand a bigger industrial effort for manufacturing. While 14,000 pounds of carbon are produced in the production of each vehicle, Shreya Dave -a graduate student at MIT- recently estimated that manufacturing an average bicycle results in the emission of approximately 530 pounds of greenhouse gases.
Outdoor activities help vitamin D generation
Vitamin D deficiency cause a cascade of health problems, from brittle bones to heart disease, cancer and sclerosis, and is synthesized by exposure to sunlight. Most adults work indoors and wear more clothing during the work week, which leaves only about 10%-15% of their body exposed to UV for short periods. A regular and limited sun exposure -like being outdoor when commuting- is better for vitamin D production than a long isolated exposure on weekends, for instance.
Cycling is good for your mental health
"I hop on my bike, go to the gym for 45 minutes, then ride the rest of the way to work," says Canadian neuroscientist Brian Christie, PhD "When I get to my desk, my brain is at peak activity for a few hours." Besides the neuro growing booster, cycling releases endorphins that contribute to a better mood.
¿So what are you waiting to leave the car in the garage, hop on a bike and ride to work everyday? Let’s use Bike To Work Day as an excuse this year and adopt this healthy and green habit for your life.