by Meghan Sahli-Wells
If your New Year’s Resolutions include any of the following: exercise, save money, help the environment, help your community, then biking is for you! Hop on your bike this year, and you will fulfill all of these goals, and more.
Exercise is the most common New Year’s Resolution, and the most obvious effect of biking. Biking delivers a great cardiovascular workout, while toning leg muscles and helping to minimize the gluteus maximus. It’s also fun. Remember the the thrill of biking when you were a kid? Cycling is a form of exercise, recreation and transportation all-in-one. What’s more, all of these benefits are simultaneous, so you can get from point A to B, while doing something you enjoy, and being good to your body. When explaining why he loves to bike to work, one bicycle commuter put it this way: “It’s like golfing to work” (Jeff Mapes, Pedaling Revolution).
Another typical New Year’s Resolution is to save money. When you replace short car trips with bike trips, you’ll spend less on gas, parking fees, bus fare, wear and tear on your car, plus you’ll save money on the gym. The only fuel you’ll use is the food you’re already eating, and most of us have extra calories to burn. In the long run, you’ll probably save on medical bills, too, since the exercise will make you healthier.
Many people are concerned about the future of our planet, and have made a New Year’s Resolution to do something for the environment. Cycling is definitely sustainable. Biking more and driving less can help improve many of the critical environmental problems we face today, such as air pollution, noise pollution, CO2 emissions, fossil-fuel consumption and dependency (which have a very high ecological price – think of the BP oil spill). Biking not only helps our individual bodies, it helps our collective well-being right now and for the future.
Culver City is blessed with a great number of community-minded residents, and I’m sure many Culverites have resolved to do even more for their community in 2011. If you’re wondering why biking would be good for community… consider this:
- Biking is a great way of connecting with your community simply because you’re not shut in a metal and plastic box going fast.
- You can easily stop to chat with neighbors and enjoy neighborhoods, since you are out in the open, moving at a slower pace.
- Biking also reduces car traffic, which generates the noise, pollution and parking problems that plague many Culver City neighborhoods.
- Furthermore, biking is good for local business. Since most people bike shorter distances than they travel by car, they’re more likely to stop and shop locally. That means more tax revenue and local employment opportunities for our community.
So dust off the 10-speed or beach cruiser in your garage, and make biking your resolution in 2011. You’ll have fun and do something that’s good for you, your family, your neighbors, and the world. Last but not least, here’s a shout-out to all the Culver City walkers – rock that walk in 2011! All of the benefits mentioned above pertain to walking, too.