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SAVE THE PLANET                                                                                                                                                           “I want to ride my

            ON YOUR BIKE                                                                                                                                                              bicycle, I want to

                                                                                                                                                                                      ride my bike” -

                                                                                                                                                                                      Freddy Mercury

                                                                                                                                                                                                               By Timothy Mottram


                   he late, great singer of Queen is not the    Then there is Utretcht, also of The Netherlands. One of            on the right of the road is enough to demarcate lanes.   organs powerful.
                   world’s only bike enthusiast. It is estimated   the problems that arises through a city’s love affair with the    Investing in bike friendly infrastructure is a vote winner,   More studies suggest that it lowers risks of cancer,
              Tthat over a billion people regularly use a bike   bike is parking. Often the racks around stations resemble         and leads to a happier, healthier society. There has been   diabetes, dementia, and heart disease up to half that of
            in their daily life, and there are plenty of reasons why   scrap yards, with thousands of bikes clustered together.    a vast amount of research made on the benefits of riding.   sedentary motorists. It is believed to help improve sex
            this number is set to climb even higher.           Utrecht is building a three-storey, state-of-the-art bike           Cycling has the advantage of many other forms of exercise   lives, navigation skills, spacial awareness and promote
              The author of this piece recently made the move to The   parking station which can hold 12,500 bikes. While it will   that it is low impact and is not an additional burden in a   sleep.
            Netherlands, where the purchase of a bike was the logical   cost millions of euros, it is a statement that shows the city’s   hectic lifestyle.                            Clearly, riding a bike isn’t just about getting to work on
            choice. On week two, a spill caused by inattention led to   commitment to clean commuting.                               There doesn’t seem to be a single aspect of the body that   time.
            a broken rib, but on the whole, the experience of being a   It is one thing to boost the ridability of cities in the north,   the bike leaves out. Just by riding to work, you can cut into   However, it can be deadly. Last year in the UK alone,
            cyclist has been transformative. The lesson was that if you   it is another to make a metropolis cycle friendly. Paris, with   that unsightly beer gut. Steady state exercise immediately   there were over one thousand fatalities involving cyclists.
            respect the bike, it will take you places.         its huge boulevards and clustered streets, is one of the            translates into fat loss. Of course, there are many variables,   Over two thirds of these involved motor vehicles.
              Cities all over the world are becoming more and more   more motivated cities. In the past, cyclists had to share     but it is estimated that cycling twice a day gets to burn   Moreover, there were 3,300 serious injuries and you can
            bike-ready. Even for some of the more one-eyed politicians,   their lanes with buses and taxis. Every year they manage   about 2,000 calories per week, which is about one day’s   bet there were tens of thousands more unreported minor
            moving from a car-based society to a two-wheeled one   to add new lanes to provide greater safety. A government        food requirement for most women. That can be roughly   injuries.
            makes sense. Bikes cut down on congestion, pollution and   supported bike sharing system means that throughout the     translated into 5kg of fat per year.                And while there is no perfect solution, there are ways to
            boost the health of the community.                 city there are scores of stations to pick up a bike, some of          And while the fat is being shed, it is being replaced by   minimise the danger. Bikes should be regularly checked
              Northern Europe, of course, leads the way when it comes   which are electric. These can be located with an app and   muscle. Certainly you won’t get shredded, but the glutes,   for road worthiness. This involves checking the seat,
            to bike-related infrastructure. In a yearly report, cities   have a lower monthly charge than the notoriously gross    quads and hamstrings all cop a hit through the many   reflectors and lights. A front and back light should always
            are ranked by their facilities for bikes. Coming out on top   metro system.                                            thousands of revolutions made throughout the year. Of   be lit during the night. Helmets might not look cool, but
            regularly is Copenhagen, where it is estimated that around   Over in the US, there are moves to have bikes made part   course, muscle burns improve metabolic burn.       they are certainly preferable to brain injuries caused
            two thirds of commuters use bikes. Last year alone, four   of the urban fabric. Biking there tends to be determined      One of the few perceived negatives of riding could be   during collisions. And always be attentive. The bike should
            new bike bridges were commenced in a city where $45   by socio-economic factors rather than practical or cultural      the exhaust fumes that come from waiting at stop lights   be approached as a vehicle: your movements should be
            per head of population is being spent annually on bicycle   ones. Given the relocations of the working poor to more    with air-polluting cars. In fact, in a Healthy Air Study, it was   predictable to other motorists.
            infrastructure. Coming second is Amsterdam, where there   affordable accommodation far from the city centres, riding   found that a motorist, sitting behind the wheel, inhales   The bike is taking over the world, and that is good for
            is a new plan set to be completed in 2022 to accommodate   a bike is a sign of financial insecurity. And while many    more than five times the pollution of a cyclist. Add that to   everybody.
            the 11,000 new inhabitants to the city per year. New and   municipalities have invested in medical clinics and stores   the fact that cycling gives the heart and lungs a thorough
            wider bike lanes will help to get more bikes on the road.   in poorer areas, bike tracks are uncommon. Mostly, a stripe   work out, and it would seem that cycling will keep your

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