By Tony McLeod-Nibbs, President of Albury Wodonga Pedal Power Inc
Sometimes you have a few messages to do like pay a bill, pick up a book at the library, and get some money from the bank. Seems easy but some planning is inevitably necessary. You have to plan where to park, and time available to get all the messages done. Can I park and walk? Is there enough time to do all that I need to do within the time frame of my parking? If there are three or more messages to do then the thought often jumps into my head “take the bike”.
These basic jobs are easy but what if you have something large or heavy to carry? The challenge of using a bike gets greater? With a rack on the back and a pannier bag and a little thought and coordination it is surprising what you can carry. My loose shorts with large pockets sometimes can be extra storage. Then there is my riding jersey with pockets that can carry the Saturday Border Mail, and Sydney Morning Herald.
The possibilities are endless it just takes a little thought to be inventive and to enjoy the use of the bicycle for transport instead of the car.
We can reduce the most obvious cost of transport that is cost for petrol, registration, and insurance. But we can also reduce the environmental cost, such as pollutants, black balloons and use of resources. Then there is the emotional cost, stress on the road, finding a parking spot, road rage if we are unlucky.
Why a bicycle? Because when it comes to sustainable transport, a bicycle is a great option. Here are some facts.
- Cycling is an excellent cardio-vascular exercise, which promotes heart health.
- On average, commuting 12 kms a day by bicycle in 30 minutes, burns 90,040 calories.
- Cycling just 32 kms a week can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%.
- Countries with the highest levels of cycling and walking generally have the lowest obesity rates.
For sustainable living, cycling has many benefits. Cycling reduces polluting emissions, for example a short 6 kms round trip by bicycle keeps about 8 kgs of pollutants out of the air we breathe. Also, in one year, riding a bicycle versus owning and driving a car will save an individual $8,000 in petrol and general car running costs.