Six reasons to use your bike for transportation

By Catherine Cameron April 21st, 2014
At ParticipACTION, we’re urging Canadians to, Park the Car. Why? Because eight-five per cent of Canadian adults aren’t active enough to meet the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines and therefore aren’t active enough for health benefits. Our sedentary lives – think desk jobs, long commutes in the car, and hours in front of screen – are making us sick and have the potential to take years off our lives.
Get moving to help restore your physical and mental health – and to put yourself on a path for a healthier, happier future. Don’t look back at what could have been, should have been, or would have been, look to the future! How will you add more physical activity to your day?
One approach that works for many is using active transportation. I use it regularly, traveling on foot or my bike whenever I can, and encouraging to do the same. Our kids should be walking, biking or boarding to school whenever possible, and I guarantee you’ll feel and look the better for it if you choose active transportation as your mode of transit for running errands and if at all possible, getting to and from work. Even those who see little point to sitting on an exercise bicycle at the gym can get their heads around biking with the purpose of getting themselves around town. So lace up your walking shoes or power your pedals, and get moving!
Today I’m sharing six reasons to use your bike for transportation: 
1 – A practical and economical solution: Cycling is an inexpensive and practical way to get around. For the price of a car payment, you can buy a good bicycle. With an additional investment, you can purchase the all-weather gear and accessories you’ll need for year-round transportation. Almost everyone can afford a bicycle of some kind, and other than walking, cycling is the most cost-effective transportation on earth.
2 – By comparison to a car, a bicycle comes with a small manufacturing footprint: Bicycles are made with a fraction of the materials and energy, as well as a much lower shipping costs than cars. They also cost much less to maintain and operate. Ca-ching!
3 – A bike is a great alternative to a second car: Bikes make great second vehicles. You’ll save thousands of dollars opting for a bike instead of a car – no major repairs, parking costs, costly insurance, gas, etc. Find out how to give your bike a tune-up.
4 – Health benefits: You will easily burn 500 or more calories an hour cycling briskly to get to work. It’s not unusual for commuters to lose 10 or more pounds in their first year of regular commuting – all without cutting back on their calorie consumption. Bikes don’t burn gasoline – they burn calories and fat and cycling can improve both your physical and mental health. Studies also show that bicycle commuters are healthier, more productive, and require less time off at work.
5 – Bike are better for the planet we call home: Motor vehicles are the primary cause of air pollution while bikes produce none at all. They’re also quieter and help ease congestion on streets, highways and in parking lots. Cycling in major cities is often faster than driving and you can fit a dozen bicycles in a single automobile-sized parking spot.
6 – Fun! Let’s not overlook the pure fun of cycling. My bike is equipped with an odemeter that tracks my distance and I’m always motivated to see just how far I can ride each season. Whether I’m off for a cycling workout with friends, putting my endurance to the test on a longer ride, or racing past cars in city gridlock, cycling provides me with a sense of freedom that rivals that I enjoyed as a child.
Happy cycling!
Catherine Cameron
Ambassador, Active Living
Original source: Participaction blog