Bicycling – Good for you And the planet

Start living green – riding a bicycle

Bicycle life in many ways can be considered eco-life. When you ride a bike the only CO2 that you are sending to the air is the little bit that you exchange for the oxygen you breathe. The problem with a car is not only that it puts CO2 into the environment, but that it emits “fossilized” CO2. That’s carbon dioxide that the planet had safely store away as part of its carbon cycle.

When fossil fuels are dug up and used, all of that extra carbon throws the cycle off.

There are so many things that you can do with a bike that you might have only thought that you could do with a car. With a little forethought, a bit of equipment and a bit of ingenuity you can do everything from commuting to work to picking up the groceries on the way home. Buy a bike with a basket, or if that doesn’t suit you, with saddle bags much like you see on motorcycles. With a little ingenuity, you can really pack a lot of stuff away.

Some differences between a car and a bike.

The difference between cars and bicycles when it comes to eco-friendliness is obvious, but perhaps you might be interested in a few numbers to put an exclamation point on those differences.cruising the beach

If you commute every day on a 30 mile trip each way, the average automobile will emit more than 30 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere. That’s 266 cubic feet of CO2. I f you multiply that times the millions of cars, trucks and buses making that same trip every day you will find that you soon have enough excess carbon dioxide around to fill the Grand Canyon with enough left over for a hot air balloon or two.

Contrast that to taking the same trip with a bike. Now admittedly that might not be something that you want to do every day (though it would be awfully good for you) but just imagine if you did. And imagine if everybody else did too. Sure you might put out a little extra because of theexertionn, but not much, especially once you got in a little bit better shape.

And speaking of shape… Biking is not only good for the planet, it’s good for you too. How many serious overweight bikers do you ever see?

Bicycling and your diet

Every serious diet you ever hear touted will tell you the same thing – you can’t lose weight effectively just by not eating – you also need to get a bit of exercise. And the bicycle is the perfect vehicle for fitness.

The advantage of the gears and the wheels that move you down the road are many, but perhaps the biggest is that you can adjust your exercise intensity to your ability. Shift down a gear or two for easy riding, especially up hills. Then later, when you are fitter, knock the shifter back up.

Another benefit is that riding engages the large muscles in your legs to a much greater extent than other forms of exercise. Not only is this a very good thing for you in general (weak legs are one of the things that really give folks trouble as they age) but as you can imagine, big muscles burn calories much faster that small muscles.

So jump up on that bike and save the planet. And feel much better about yourself at the same time.