More Fun Less Drama: The Future of Cycling
The future of cycling is not just about fat bikes and carbon fiber. Cycling is intertwined with global issues like population growth, environmentalism and public health. Every second, thousands of new people are born.
Every new birth introduces another mouth to feed and another car on the road. Traffic congestion is at an incredibly high level, leaving some people accepting a lifetime behind a steering wheel.
Fortunately, there is a solution to this seemingly unavoidable and dull driving experience: the bicycle. Bicycle’s are popular these days, and have been since the early 19th century. They transport millions of people to their destinations with no fuel or complicated maintenance required. People ride their bikes to and fro, speeding up their metabolisms as they cycle along.
In the past few decades, cycling is seen more as a hobby than a form of transportation in the United States. However, there has recently been a resurgence in the amount of people riding and commuting on their bikes. With a growing number of people on bikes, car drivers might get curious as to the benefits of the bicycle.
Here are the top 6 reasons why the future of cycling is less cars and more cyclists!
#1: Health and Fitness
It is a known fact that an increase in activity levels can increase your overall health and longevity. Cycling is a very intense sport, giving you muscular, skeletal, and cardiovascular benefits. The more you ride your bike the easier it will get. This is due to your heart getting better at its job of pumping blood throughout your body. So, the future of cycling involves people looking to strengthen their hearts and bodies for increased energy and superior fitness.
#2: Less Traffic and Road Rage
A large percentage of people in the US live within 18 miles of their workplace. However, in the US, many cities and towns do not have any cycling infrastructure like bike lanes. With a more complete cycling infrastructure, the future of cycling will be more bikes and less cars, resulting in more peaceful minded commuters as cycling makes you happy.
Encouraging a commute by bicycle will benefit people’s mental health. It will also encourage a restructuring of our roads and how our traffic works. Less cars and more bikes demands a different traffic infrastructure with bike lanes and signals. This will encourage people to commute and travel by bicycle, due to the increased levels of safety and efficiency of bike lanes and more cyclists.
#3: Better Weather
Compare the air quality of Los Angeles, California to that of Cheyenne, Wyoming. In Los Angeles, there is an everlasting haze in the sky and a thick air quality: a result of smog. In Wyoming, the air is crisp, and the sky is clear allowing incredible starry nights. The main difference of these two places is the amount of people driving cars there. Car’s engines emit toxic fumes creating smog, rising up into the sky forming hazy clouds. To reduce smog and increase good weather, people need to leave their cars at home and commute by bicycle.
The car exhaust you ingest while out on your bike in congested areas can be harmful. Engines emit carcinogens through compounds such as carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. So, if you live in a heavily congested city, consider wearing a face mask to avoid the inhalation of toxic fumes. The future of cycling includes better weather, and decreased usage of cars will help that become a reality.
#4: More Fun
Cycling is currently one of the most difficult sports you can do. Going up a hill on your bike might seem like a form of masochism, and it can make or break determined individuals. At a higher level of fitness however, that hill you once struggled up will be easy. When your fit, you can enjoy what cycling is all about: exploration, the outdoors, having fun, and challenging yourself to become a better version of yourself.
If the US decreases its obesity levels by driving less and cycling more, the difficulty of cycling will be overshadowed by the fun that can be had on a bicycle. Commuting to work will no longer be a dreaded activity, you’ll be looking forward to being outside and experiencing the fun of cycling!
There is even an app called Strava where you can keep track of your best times, and race yourself and others during your commute to work. The future of cycling might include more people racing to work and bragging about beating each other’s personal records. Talk about keeping things fun and motivating!
#5: Safer Roads
With the increased level of road congestion experienced throughout the world, the less people driving cars, the better. Cars have a notorious relationship with cyclists: many drivers don’t respect cyclists, and many cyclists disrespect traffic laws. While many cyclists sometimes disobey things like stop signs and red lights, its for their own safety.
After cycling for a while, a rider tends to become more aware of surrounding traffic and potential road hazards. To stay safe on roads dominated by cars, cyclists sometimes need to take the initiative and disobey a traffic law in order to remain safe.
The recent popularity of smart phone’s in recent years has people more distracted than ever. Last year alone, over half a million people were killed or injured from car accidents involving texting while driving. Many people have to drive a vehicle for work, but they must give a high level of respect towards the dangerous vehicle their driving. A motor vehicle is an incredibly heavy metal object traveling at very high velocity, and will destroy anything it hits.
More bikes and less cars means less people texting while driving. This will result in safer streets for cyclists, vehicle drivers and pedestrians alike. Its an unfortunate fact that many cyclists are killed by vehicles, so in the future, minimize this danger by respecting cyclists, and start commuting by bicycle!
#6: More Adventures
There is a love of adventure that the majority of all cyclists share. You might have ridden a bike as a child, and explored new areas of your neighborhood or town. The feeling of independence and adventure that bike ride gave you as a child is something that cycling can offer for a lifetime. Bikes take us places cars can’t fit, encouraging us to explore areas of cities and towns we would normally never see.
Riding your bike through single track or through a foreign town is a feeling one can continue to have well into your “golden years”. Cycling is healthy sport that encourages longevity, as long as you don’t crash. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on LCD TV’s and sedentary vacations, ride a bike and experience adventure in your day to day life. Cycling keeps you fit so you can continue to have adventures for a lifetime!