What’s not to love about a bike? It’s low-cost transportation powered by renewable energy, a low-impact exercise for almost everyone in the family to enjoy, and an essential ingredient to creating cleaner, healthier, more sustainable cities.
For Americans trying to make it through one of the hottest summers ever on record though, the idea of heading out on your bicycle might seem a little crazy, but summer is actually the perfect time to get your bike tuned up for fall riding, or find a new one for a great price.
If you don’t have a bike, you can easily get a very nice one cheaply from Craigslist, Ebay, or the local paper. You can also rent one from a local bike shop or from bike sharing sites like Spinlister.
But if you have a little money to spend, or special needs, you can go so far as to get a super-cushy, bamboo comfort-cycle or a solar-charged battery to get you up the hills without breaking a sweat! In fact, the new electric bikes make bicycling accessible to more people than ever!
And these days, you can also find trailers of all types to schlepp everything from kids to groceries to golf clubs—making your bike a truly useful form of transportation.
Bikes and Personal Sustainability
When the weather isn’t too hot, it might be a good idea to take that bicycle for a spin as often as you can. Inactivity-related diseases (like heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and even cancer) are the number 1 killer in the United States. But by adding just 30 minutes of exercise to your day—perhaps by bicycle—we can save an average of $544 per person per year in health costs!
Increasingly, cities are adding more and more bike lanes, and there are now bike paths stretching across most suburban areas as well. If you live somewhere where you can commute to work or run errands by bicycle, on top of the health savings, you will save tons of money on gas, parking and automobile maintenance.
And as an added perk, according to at least one study, bicyclists also save time during rush hour when they can actually out-pace cars in urban areas.
Traveling by bike not only gives you great physical and financial benefits, but also allows you to see the world in a different way. Biking is slower, and you can wave hello to a neighbor or stop whenever you want to look around at new things and explore. These days, slowing down and de-stressing may be the most important benefits of all.
Check out all the reasons why you should ride your bike in this cool infographic:
How will you reduce your transportation footprint this year?
This article was excerpted from my book Sustainability Starts at Home – How to Save Money While Saving the Planet. For more money-saving, planet-friendly tips, check out the book by clicking below.
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