Riding Bicycle is Good for Our Health and Environment
Cycling is good for our health and environment
I have used my dirt jump mountain bike to the Table Mountain and the North Coast of Manokwari since early December 2010. I am satisfied with its performance. I hope that by continuously riding my bike, I can encourage the people in my town to ride bicycles. Cycling is not only good for our health but also for the environment. I used to read an article in Mountain Bike Action magazine April 2010 edition, about someone named Cliff Leong who rode his bicycle as a way to fight lymphoma. Older people in Cuba also gave similar testimony that their health conditions have been improved after Cuban government aggressively introduced cycling in 2001 when facing the energy crisis following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Although my bicycle type is a mountain bike, it is still suitable for cycling around Manokwari - the city where I live. But I am really concerned to find out that I hardly ever see adult people riding bicycle around the city in the afternoons. It is true that by cycling we will be able to improve the metabolism of our body and visual scanning of our eyes and at the same time reduce the emission of CO2 gases into the atmosphere. In other words, riding bicycle is good for fighting global warming.
Ride Bicycle, Save Energy and Live in Harmony with Our Surrounding Nature
Bicycles are not seen as renewable energy resources. But riding bicycle is one of the most effective ways to reduce the consumption of fossil fuel and at the same time improve the atmospheric condition of our city making it a better living environment. So, cycling should be encouraged not only among children but also among adult people. I know that car makers are now trying to make electric cars that will not pollute the atmosphere with CO2 gas emissions. But the price of an excellent electric car is still expensive for people in developing countries. In addition, the problem of traffic congestion cannot be solved with the addition of more cars to the street. We often see a car whose passenger capacity is 5 is only filled by the driver when he or she goes to work. Although electric car can be an efficient and environmentally solution for transport means of the future, unless it is recharged with renewable energy from wind power or photoltaic panels. So, I prefer riding bicycle as the immediate solution of our current energy and environmental crises.
I believe that if we are serious in promoting bicycle again into the Indonesian community, we will be able to see more people cycling in the streets and roads just as our old generation had experienced during the Dutch era. by Charles Roring
My New Mountain bike
My mountain bikes arrived on 6 December 2010. They're:
- Polygon Cozmic DX 2.0 - a dirt jump bicycle and
- Polygon Celine 3.0 - actually a bicycle for women.
I had just returned from traveling in the Arfak mountains watching the magnificent birds of paradise when I saw two large carton boxes inside my bookshop. When I opened the boxes, the handle bars and front wheels of the bikes had been dismantled. At first I was confused how to put them together because I did not have any equipment for assembling them. I had to borrow some wrenches from my parents. But I had to take them out first and reassembled them. I had never assembled a mountain bike before but I managed to that probably because of my engineering background. When all parts of the bicycles had been bolted into their places, I found that the tyres of bicycles were flat. I brought them one by one to the nearest pumping station around five hundred meters from my house. It was raining hard at that time but I kept on going to the motorcycle repair shop to have the tires pumped.
Getting Familiar with Using Bike Gears
I was happy to see that the mountain bikes that I ordered finally could be used for my morning and afternoon sports. The next morning, I rode my Polygon Cozmic DX 2.0 bicycle. I was not familiar with the Shimano Alivio rear and front gears that were installed in the bike. It took several days for me to be familiar with them. When cycling along a bumpy road the air suspension fork is able to reduce the shocks making it comfortable for me to ride my mountain bike. Now I can use the bicycle and shift the gears to proper levels when ascending a steep terrain or riding along a flat road.
Cycling was introduced by the Dutch in Indonesia during the colonial period. After they had left this country, Indonesian people did not continue the cycling habit. The introduction of faster automobiles into the streets and roads of this country forced bicycle users to give up cycling. In addition, cycling was considered an outdated lifestyle. Now, there is a growing interest in the use of bicycles as the transport means in Indonesia. Citizens especially those who live in Jakarta, and Bali try to influence the government and transport department to also provide facilities needed by cyclists.
Developing Cycling Culture
If you are interested in developing cycling culture in your town or city, you have to remember that you cannot do it along. While you ride your bicycles and meet some people who are riding along the streets too, try to stop them and build communications with them. If you are serious with this issue, you need to form an organization as your "vehicle" to promote cycling among other town or city dwellers through a number of events and to influence government and municipal authorities in making pro-cycling policies. Cooperation with other cycling communities around the world is possible for conducting seminars and comparative study that will be important for developing cycling culture in your country. I believe that cycling culture can be developed in any countries if we have strong commitment about it and are willing to work hard to realize it.