November 05, 2007

[Notes from a Pedaler] Bicycle Revolution

In the spirit of RTS (Reclaim The Streets) parades, most cities host weekly or monthly critical mass bike rallies. These rallies are a conglomeration of environmentalists, health conscious folk and community-oriented activists who see the great potential that bicycles have in confronting some of our biggest societal problems: Global warming, obesity, pandemic cardiovascular disease, smog and pollution-related respiratory diseases, daily urban traffic, oil-related resource wars, and even the growing close-minded coldness of car-reliant suburban neighbourhoods. Indeed, it is time for a bicycle revolution. Let us take a loose handle bar to our cars and... [click on link below to expand to full post] convert them into stationary flower pots, and ride our bikes a little more often.

Bicycles have so much to offer: They are easy to build (and rebuild) and relatively cheap compared to other forms of transportation; They don’t contribute to global warming in any significant way and don’t add to city smog; They’re quick and easy to commandeer; They make you feel good about yourself and contribute to your cardio health. Really, the bicycle is an incredible invention: Two wheels, a seat, a few gears, and voilĂ , you can get from point “a” to point “b” quickly and easily. As an added plus, there is the sense of accomplishment of having used your own humanpower to hurdle your body through time and space. No emissions, no smelly car odors, no nagging children in the back seat. Bikes are more compact and can get you through tight spaces and around tight corners, across grass and other places that cars and public transport are confined too – and you can get away with cruising through stop signs without having to come to a complete stop . Bicycles lead to healthier lifestyles as they promote physical activity and get people outside breathing fresh flowing air. With so much to offer, why wouldn’t you want to ride your bike?

Ever since I decided that I would try use my bike as much as possible I’ve felt better and better about my life in so many ways. I encourage you to challenge yourself to ride your bike all year long, even through the winter, and see if you feel the benefits of quick and easy, low cost, healthy and environmentally-friendly transportation.

Also, join in on a bike rally, or start a bike gang (with real bikes). Here are critical mass websites from Toronto and Vancouver:


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