Benefits to bicycle riding are many

Bicycles have been around for more than a century.

Many historians once believed that carriage-makers Pierre and Ernest Michaux, a father and his son, respectively, were responsible for the first bicycle. But some historians now say there is evidence that bicycles and similar vehicles existed before the 1860s.

Regardless, the design of bicycles and the enjoyment of riding them have continued throughout their history.

Bicycle riding has many benefits, including promoting health. It’s also an eco-conscious mode of transportation.

Who relies on a bike as a primary mode of transportation varies, but millions of people worldwide take to bicycles for different purposes. There is no clear method of determining how many people ride bikes.

However, a survey sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics sheds some light on bike use. It is estimated that at least 27.3 percent of the U.S. population rode a bicycle during the summer of 2002, the most recent year for which information is available.

Individuals have many different reasons for riding bicycles, and here are a few of the many benefits of tak ing to t he st re et s atop your bicycle. It’s Green

Bicycles have vir- tually no carbon footp rint. This method of transportation is one of the most efficient ever invented. It contributes to little air pollution, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, reduces road wear, and can even reduce deforestation of planting of rub- ber plantations and bio-fuel crops.

Bicycles also make virtually no noise, so they’re ideal for those who want to prevent noise pollution.

It’s Healthy

R iding a bicycle is a great start to implementing a healthier lifestyle. Going bike riding puts less stress on the joints than running. It is also a faster mode of transport than walking.

Many people find that riding a bicycle can be a mood-booster.

Regular cycling is known to have many health benefits, including toning muscles, improving cardiovascular health, improv- ing bone mass, and helping to burn calories, which can shed pounds.


Strategy, a nutrition and fitne ss organization, says that a 130-pound person will burn 236 calories per hour while leisurely cycling, 472 calories for moderately paced cycling and 708 calories per hour for race cycling. A 180- pound person will burn 327 calories for leisurely cycling, 654 for moderately paced cycling and 981 for race cycling.

It Saves Space

Bicycles take up less space t ha n ot her mode s of t ra nsport. That means everyone from apartment-dwellers to owners of large homes have the space to store a bicycle.

In terms of parking a bicycle or keeping it chained somewhere, the smaller profile means they can be kept in many places and there’s no need to hunt for a parking spot.

Fur t hermore, bic ycles on roadways also take up less space, which can reduce the amount of traffic congestion.

Additionally, should a traffic jam form, it’s easier to change routes on a bicycle than it is in an automobile.

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2012-05-03 digital edition

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