why love your bike?
1. BICYCLING IS GOOD FOR FAMILY FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES.
A recent survey of potential home buyers found that 93
percent said "quiet, low traffic areas were very or extremely
important" in selecting the type of community where they
wanted to live. More than 70 percent of the home buyers surveyed cited bicycling facilities as important to their decision.
Parents recognize that children are more independent in
bicycle friendly communities. Women between the age of 30
and 50 tend to make far more vehicle trips than men--largely
due to the "chauffeur" role they play in delivering children
to various after-school destinations. Safe bicycle routes liberate both parents and children.
of crime-plagued neighborhoods, while the crime-fighting
virtues of the bicycle -- stealth, speed, all-terrain mobility
-- are well-established.
4. BICYCLING IMPROVES AIR QUALITY AND THE HEALTH OF
Place any living creature in a closed system and turn on even
a brand new combustion engine and death is the result. Our
Earthly atmosphere is a closed system about 10 miles high.
The burning of fossil fuels, primarily from cars, busses, and
trucks is contaminating the single most important ingredient
for human health--clean air. An average four-mile round-trip
bike trip prevents nearly 15 pounds of air pollutants from
contaminating the air.
2. BICYCLING INCREASES PROPERTY VALUES.
Studies have shown that property values climb in neighborhoods near newly built bicycle-pedestrian trails. The top three
priorities stated by home-buyers as crucial factors in their
home-purchasing decision (among 39 features) are: "Commu-nity designs that deliver low traffic and quiet streets," "Lots
of natural, open space," and "Walking and biking paths.".
5. BICYCLING CONSERVES ENERGY AND RESOURCES.
Bicycle trips are most likely to displace short car trips, which
are less fuel efficient than longer trips. Bicycle transportation saves an estimated 700 million gallons of fuel annually.
By making our communities safe and practical for bicycling,
bicyclists could save the U.S. as much as three billion gallons
of fuel each year.
3. BICYCLING CONTRIBUTES TO COMMUNITY SAFETY.
Streets full of cyclists have a calming effect on motorists.
Communities with high rates of cycling tend to have reduced
rates of traffic deaths and injuries among bicyclists and pedestrians. It is estimated that for every dollar invested in
bicycle and pedestrian improvements, we save double this
amount in medical costs from averted traffic accidents. Many
successful community policing programs around the nation
is the bicycle-mounted police squad. Placing cops on bikes
has proved effective in fostering good-will among residents
6. BICYCLING HELPS RELIEVE TRAFFIC CONGESTION.
Bicycle improvements can encourage motorists to shift some
of their short automotive trips to bicycling. Approximately
40% of all car trips are less than two miles in length.
7. BICYCLING IS ECONOMICAL.
Bicycling is the most-cost effective mode of transportation. The
cost of operating a car has climbed 300 percent in the last 20
years. Growing numbers of families find that the replacement
of a commuter car with a commuter bike can restore thousands
who bikes to class?
We put the call out on Facebook and in our email newsletter asking
who rides their bikes to teach class. We received a list of answers
and we’re happy to hear of everyone out on two wheels. Here’s our
shout-out to some of the teachers who bike around town, whether
they named themselves or had their friends or students write in
about their exploits.
Mary Beth LaRue
Steven Earth Metz