- Politics and Social Issues»
Environmental Benefits of Cycling
Improved air quality
There are a lot of environmental benefits of cycling that we can get. People who ride bicycles to work have directly reduced CO2 emissions. If they go to work by cars, they will need to use fossil fuel (diesel oil or gasoline). This fuel will need to be burned to power the internal combustion engines of the cars. Because bicycles do not release smoke or fume, the air in our city will be cleaner. In the Netherlands, and Denmark where the percentage of cyclists is higher than any other countries, the air quality of the cities there is better especially in Amsterdam, Groningen and Copenhagen. Although cyclists help create cleaner air environment, their existence in the streets and roads of our cities and towns does not get enough appreciations from car drivers.
Reduced Sound Pollution
Another environmental advantage of cycling is the reduction in sound pollution. We all know that although motorized vehicles are equipped with mufflers to reduce the sounds created by the internal combustion engines, they still release sounds that are not good our health. Noise often makes people get stressed. When we ride bicycles we will not create such sounds. Birds do not like to live in cities that are too noisy for them. If we are able to reduce the sound pollution by riding bicycles, I believe that the beautiful creatures will come back to our cities again. So, instead of hearing roaring noise of cars and motorcycles in front of our houses and offices, we will be able to hear natural sounds from birds singing in the morning in trees that we plant in our yards.
According to a book entitled Bicycle Science, wood was the first material which was used to make the earliest model of bicycle called Draisienne. Wooden bike was invented following the explosion of Tambora volcano in Indonesian in 1815. The natural disaster caused 1816 as the year without summer and killed horses in central Europe. The shortage of horses led von Drais to create the wooden bike. In recent years, bicycle manufacturers work hard to improve the quality of bike materials by introducing lighter materials such as aluminum compound and carbon fiber. Unfortunately, such materials are expensive. In addition, before they can be used in building bicycles they need to be extracted from nature. There are still debates whether the consumption of energy for extracting aluminum, light steel and carbon fiber for making bicycle is lower or higher than the fuel efficiency that we can make when riding the bike.
Back to Wooden Bicycle
Improvement in technology and woodworking machine tools also restores the use of wood in making bike frames. Wood which had been abandoned after the introduction of light steel and aluminum compound for bicycle frames is now being introduced again as a reliable material for bicycles. Another material that is safe for our environment is bamboo.
Let's ride bicycles
There are still a lot of environmental benefits of cycling that we can get if more and more people ride bicycles every day. Our commitment to fight global warming can be answered now if all of the earth’s populations are willing to take positive actions towards our environment. Cycling is one of them and is also good for our health. by Charles Roring