If you read this blog regularly then you know that the enforced biking of this project is one of the happiest adaptations we’ve made. We get to exercise, go places wouldn’t otherwise, get there faster and just plain have fun. That’s why I dedicated my spot on Good Morning America today to biking. But it’s not just me who thinks biking is cool. Here are some stats that say so too:
- Biking for transportation improves peoples lives. Studies show that bicyclists are the happiest among commuters.
- Bicycling is a great alternative to short driving trips. 25% of trips that are made within a mile of the home, and 40% are made within 2 miles of the home.
- Just increasing
bicycling a tiny bit will do wonders for the environment. Today,
only 1% of US trips are done by bike but increasing this to1.5% would save 462
million gallons of gas per year.
Biking is a great exercise.
- At an easy pace, it burns 500 calories per hour, 25% more than walking.
- Making biking safer for everyone is just a matter of get pedaling. Every time number of bicyclists triples the rate of accidents reduces by half.
In other words, biking can be an excellent no-impact alternative to the automobile. But as my friend Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives emailed me, “To make it easier for Americans to ride bikes, communities need ‘complete streets.’ Complete Streets are streets that in addition to having car lanes, also have bike lanes. The best kind of bike lanes have a barrier than protects bicyclists from traffic.
“There are hundreds of local groups nationwide that are working to create complete streets and make communities more bicycle-friendly. Join and support your local bicycle group because in addition to working for complete streets, they can also be a great resource for tips to help you start bike commuting. (how to park and lock your bike, how to wear your helmet properly, ride safely, etc).”
The group here in NYC, of course, is Paul’s own Transportation Alternatives.
PS If you are interested in reading about how biking has become the trend among the ritzy, upper crust women of New York, go here.
PPS If you saw me on Good Morning America and you liked my new trike (new but made from entirely from second-hand parts, that is), you could always get one of your own. It was made by New York’s bicycling activist, genius and pioneer George Bliss, who you can contact here.
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.