December 13, 2010
Why ride a car, why not a bicycle?
It is interesting to look back and see how people switch from riding bicycles as kids to driving cars as they grow older. Once students finish high school and move to college away from home, their parents prefer them to use cars to drive back and forth from college and also for personal use. It is true that considering the general lifestyle of the people in the U.S., the car is a necessity in almost every household. However, if a comparison is made between the use of cars and bicycles based on key factors like speed, cost, door-to-door access, safety, ease of parking and the cost involved, impact on environment, health benefits, need for extra clothing, operation and maintenance costs and their impact on the community or society in general, bikes hold an edge over cars. Not surprisingly, there seem to be a lot more organizations today than in the past which advocate the use of bicycles. In the present day scenario of rising fuel prices, job losses, and housing crisis, people prefer to spend less time to commute to work. Another fact worth to be noted is that more than half of them stay closer to work. Cars have a very high top speed but that's irrelevant for most commutes, since most are slowed down by rush hour traffic. If a commuter is lucky enough to average 35 mph while driving to work which is 5 miles away from his home, it takes him 8.5 minutes to reach his destination. A 25 mph average trip takes 12 minutes. Moreover, sometimes commuters need to look for parking spaces and then walk to their building which further adds their commute time. On a bicycle at 12mph, the trip would take 25 minutes.
Consider the fact that a person spends half an hour every day exercising or working out. While he is driving a car he does not burn any calories. That means he needs to spend 30 minutes after work exercising. If he is riding a...