Not long ago, I posted an article called “Noise”. I was thinking about that article when I got my new bike yesterday (to me it was new anyway – really it was used and I got it second hand), and I thought I’d take this opportunity to compare bikes to cars. After all, bikes are a great substitute for cars in plenty of cases.
They’re more eco-friendly than cars because they don’t use fossil fuel or need to be charged. (Unless you’re getting that electricity from a renewable source like solar energy, it’s not really clean.) Bikes get their energy from whoever rides them. Whoever rides them gets the energy from the food and beverages they would’ve consumed anyway. Naturally, using the energy from that food to exercise helps prevent it from being turned into fat (assuming the caloric intake is of a comparable level to, or less than, that of the calories burned during the corresponding exercise). It also strengthens the muscles and results in the intake of vitamin D when done outside on a sunny day, and of course all of these things are healthy.
Riding a bike instead of driving a car also helps reduce noise pollution. As implied in the previously-mentioned article, noise pollution makes it difficult to think, concentrate, and sleep for a healthy amount of time each night (about ten hours). When one has difficulty with such things, productivity is notably decreased. The frustration and lack of sleep can also result in behavioral problems (such as shortened temper) and dependence on the sleep aids one may use when there are vehicles driving by one’s living residence all night.
While it is true that one may need to use a vehicle in emergencies or when buying massively unnecessary piles of groceries, ordinary commuting does not require a car. Imagine, if you will, a world in which it is socially excusable to arrive at work several minutes late on a regular basis. This isn’t very likely to happen with the use of cars being so widespread; however, with a bicycle it would be more acceptable (“Sorry I’m late – I pulled a muscle” sounds like a much better excuse than saying you were stuck in traffic because you were too lazy or busy to check the traffic report beforehand to find a quicker route to work. I mean, no one cares why you didn’t check it beforehand. The point is that you didn’t and you could have. I don’t care if you don’t have electricity at your house, call a friend or something. Geez…).
So in summary: bicycling is healthier for you, it is friendlier to the environment, it doesn’t cause the level of noise pollution created by cars, and it is a nice substitute to driving when a car isn’t completely necessary. (Put THAT in your report, Dawn! HA!)