I google’d ‘why do we ride bikes’ in a brain dead moment after finishing and sending off a long report. According to David Fiedler there are 5 reasons:
1. For Your Body
There are health benefits for people of all ages
- increased cardiovascular fitness
- increased strength
- increased balance and flexibility
- increased endurance and stamina
- increased calories burned
Can’t really argue with that. Although I don’t really think too many car drivers get cyclist’s palsy in their hands (that tingly feeling) or have to slather on chamois cream before a hundred mile ride.
2. For Your State of Mind
It is a proven stress releaser. After a ride you feel relaxed, energized and happier about the world and yourself. And it is fun so it keeps you from taking yourself too seriously.
So no more Prozac for Mr. Fieldler. That’s good. I like that. I’m happy now. No stress.
But is a sixty-year-old man cycling through a sub Saharan desert in canary yellow or bright pink spandex taking himself too seriously or not seriously enough? Your call. Depends on what kind of fun you are having in your canary yellow spandex I guess.
3. For Your Community
It’s good for the people around you – one less car on the road. No noise. You are able to interact with people. It does not harm the environment: no polluting exhaust, no oil or gas consumed, small material inputs.
I like this. Makes me sound virtuous, which of course I am, if a bit dull. Are the material inputs for 8 bikes less than the energy and material inputs to make 1 small car? Possibly.
But not so sure about the people interaction bit. The roads can be mean. Kind of hard to toss off a friendly ‘Hi, how’s your day been?’ when somebody’s just pulled out in front of you and sent your over the bars.
4. For Convenience
There is an undeniable convenience factor: parking spaces are guaranteed, traffic jams are irrelevant.
Absolutely. And so easy to throw into the back of a pickup. Did you get the license plate #?
5. For Your Pocketbook
When you start multiplying cost per mile to operate a car by the distance you ride, you can easily calculate how much money you save by riding a bike.
daily round trip commute = 10 miles.
operating cost of car per mile = 30 pence
Cycle to work 150 days in a year
Savings = 10 * 150 *.3 = £450
Cycling shoes = £120
Cycling shorts * 4 = £240
Cycling jerseys * 4 = £240
Rain jacket = £80
10 inner tubes = £50
2 pairs of cycling gloves = £30
1 new chain = £30
Yes, perfect sense!
Don’t forget to donate to the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania.