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Cycling For The Good Of You And The Environment

Dec 18, 2007
Cycling Gains New Popularity

Cycling is gaining popularity in many parts of the country for good reason. Gas prices are going up and many people now bike short distances instead of driving to get around. They do this either to save money or to save the environment. Many people already find cycling to be a fun way to get exercise. As gas prices go up, more and more people will realize that they can help themselves and help the earth at the same time if they switch to bicycling.

Cycling, far from being a past time of the poor, has mostly been a past time of the well paid. One estimate of commuter cyclist's income showed an average of $60,000 a year. Many cities across the country are now planning ahead for a potential future energy crisis and are making themselves more cycle friendly. They are adding bike lanes, bike racks, bike garages, and even bike dedicated streets. These cities with foresight will be more ready in the event that gas prices suddenly shoot up to the point where many people can not afford to commute to work in a car.

In heavy commuter traffic, cyclists actually find themselves getting to their destinations faster than their car commuter brethren. In some areas it is not legal for a bike to pass on the right, so check the local bike laws before you take this speedy shortcut through commuter traffic.

Cycling and Exercise

Not only is it a great choice for transportation, but cycling also has other benefits. One of the best ways to exercise, and among the most popular, cycling allows you the option of enjoying your surroundings while you exercise. Good for cardiovascular health as well as helping with balance and coordination, cycling helps maintain a healthy weight. Thirty minutes of cycling per day cuts the risk of heart disease in half. In addition, cycling increases strength and improves strength. As with any exercise, cycling promotes good mental health as well by its effect of giving you an overall sense of well-being.

Important Things to Know

Setting your bike up for commuting or shopping is different than setting it up for traveling or racing. You need sturdy tires that can handle all kinds of weather, especially if you live in any area other than the desert. You need some good bags to hold things or a bike trailer. You need lights in case you stay out too late and it gets dark. Although many cities do not require helmets for adult bike riders, it is a good idea to protect yourself with one.

Some say that cycling is more dangerous than driving, citing this as a reason that they choose to drive rather than cycle. But actually, as millions of Americans have been discovering, cycling is a great alternative to driving. In fact, figures suggest that cycling is only fifty-five percent as dangerous per hour as traveling in a car. Of course, wearing the right gear while cycling, as discussed above, is important.
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