Rediscover the bicycle... and help the world go green

By Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Bike1 At some time most of us learned to ride a bicycle and the great majority of us did so as a child. But then sometime after we turned sixteen, seventeen or eighteen, depending at what age we can make our driver's license, most of us abandoned that sleek two-wheeled bicycle in favor of the car.

Rediscovering the bicycle is a great way to begin, or continue, your green journey, and there are many good reasons for going back to the bicycle or for continuing with the bicycle. I never stopped using the bicycle, but that has more than one reason.

Using a bicycle, aside from the points that follow, also saves you money for there is not cost for gas, for taxes, for insurance, for parking (at least not in most places).

Aside from going green, people choose to ride bicycles for many different reasons: it could be to save money on the commute to work, for fitness (instead of driving to the gym to use an electric stationary bike), or to visit a friend in the neighborhood or to head to the local stores or to take the kids to school the healthy way, and finally the latter few are catching on quite well in many places in Britain.

Cycling has many benefits and whatever your reasons, and those of others, for choosing to ride a bicycle, the choice favorably impacts not only your health but environmental and the Planet's health as well.

Riding a bicycle will reduce our countries' dependence on fossil fuels. Every gallon of gas you put into your car comes out of the ground and every gallon that you save by cycling can safely stay there as oil, or used as oil for other purposes, such as making plastics.

Recent events, including political unrest in oil-rich countries and the environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico last year, show the high cost we pay for this dependence. If you use bicycling as one of your ways of going green, you minimize your own dependence on those unreliable sources and resources. In addition to that, according to many studies now made public, we are headed for the end of oil, of abundant and affordable oil for starters, and then some.

Riding a bicycle will also reduce the need for more roadways, though not that some government agencies can see that, it would seem.

While you may not be ready – yet – to trade in your car, every day you stay off the roadways reduces the need for your space. If others also choose to bicycle some days, cumulatively there is less need for our ever expanding highway system. That means more trees, more open space, and less resources needed to build the roads, and, most importantly, less tarmacked over lands and less pollution.

Bicycling is a zero emissions way to get from place to place; as a cyclist, you will definitely appreciate clean air.

Cycling also protects wildlife in that it is not very likely that you collide with any animal or bird while cycling with fatal consequences for the animal or bird concerned. For, according to estimates by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, 60 million birds are killed each year in collisions with cars, and that is alone birds. We have not even looked in this figure at other wildlife, such as rabbits, deer, foxes, etc., as well as domestic pets, such as cats and dogs.

So, let's get back to the good old two-wheeled human-powered vehicle that is the bicycle. In fact, with the oil getting more and more expensive and being running low we best think about doing this anyway.

© 2011