Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bicycling makes communities healthier

Image of bicyclist with passenger on rear rackFrom New West (Missoula, MT) 05.31.07:

It's finally happening. Bicycling is finally catching on as a way of life in America, even in the rural New West. I see it every day, now, here...and elsewhere. Most people own a bicycle, of course, but now according to a new bicycle advocacy group, the Bikes Belong Coalition, 40 percent of us actually ride them instead of letting them collect dust in the garage.

And not a minute too soon.

Why? The current upsurge in gas prices was clearly a tipping point for some people, but participation in bicycling has been trending upward for many years, according to the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA). More people are riding bikes for a myriad of reasons, the same reasons we all know about--for fitness and health, for energy conservation and protection of wildlife habitat, for saving money, and because of the "Lance Effect" the media fanfare created on by seven-time Tour de France champion, Lance Armstrong. (Read more.)
The buried lead in this column is that children are bicycling less. "Stranger danger" is one suggested cause; lack of space to safely bicycle is clearly another. The rest of the article hails the many benefits of bicycling, of all kinds.

I do like the positioning of bicycling as a "way of life," and not simply a transportation mode. For many of us, our choice of the bicycle influences all the other choices: where we work (do we have to drive to get there?), where we live (is it bicycling-friendly?), how we maintain our health, who we make our friends, how we view the world.

Image: Web capture
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site


KIM said...

Thank you for the nice post.

Sasquatch said...

Try as Sasquatch do, him can't get beautiful young human woman to ride on back of bike. Perhaps shave and bath would help.

gwadzilla said...

I like that picture...

Anonymous said...

People are bicycling less because they don't know how.
England is trying to reverse this trend by instituting new Bikeability program to train everyone, especially kids, how to bicycle. Check it out!