In honour of World Bicycle Day, we have compiled the top 5 reasons why the world (and especially you) is better off by bike. Read on to discover the bicycle’s benefit as a form of transportation, from being better for the environment and your health, to saving you money in the long run. You’re sure to be whipping out your helmet and jumping into your bike’s saddle.
1. Cycling is better for the environment
The only fuel a bike needs is your legs. This means cycling has a low carbon footprint, uses minimal fossil fuels and is a pollution-free mode of transport. A study by Our World in Data determined that one of the most efficient ways to travel was by bicycle and states that using a bike instead of a car for short trips reduces your travel emissions by around 75%.
2. Cycling improves physical health
Cycling is a form of active transport, so not only are you getting where you need to be, you’re getting outside and moving your body. Research from the United Kingdom found that cycling to work is linked with a 45% lower risk of developing cancer, and a 46% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, compared to commuting by car or public transport.
3. Cycling has positive effects on mental health
It’s no secret that physical activity has positive effects on your mental health. This is thanks to the endorphins that are released into your body when you exercise. The European Cycling Federation state that cycling also has positive effects on emotional health as it improves levels of well-being, self-confidence and tolerance to stress while reducing tiredness and difficulties with sleep.
4. Cycling reduces city congestion
We all know the feeling of being stuck in traffic. The slow-moving pace of backlogged cars can often increase travel times when commuting. Did you know that introducing more bike lanes can reduce automobile travel time by 35%. Cycling improvements, such as upgrading infrastructure and lowering automobile speed limits, can lead to 45% less car traffic and faster public transport.
5. Cycling is an affordable mode of transport
Cycling saves you money. A bicycle is cheaper to buy and maintain than a car, which also makes it more equitable. Figures from UN Environmental Programme show that the annual costs of cycling is thousands of dollars cheaper than driving a car (based on an average annual mileage). Riding a bike frees you from constantly topping up on petrol and paying for car registrations.
What can’t a bicycle do? There are so many benefits to riding your bike as a form of active transportation. We hope this has inspired you to get out your gear and make every day World Bicycle Day!