This had been a simple change that creates positive ripples in a lot of directions: -Obviously there is that “Carbon Issue” The National Personal Transportation Survey (who knew there was such a thing?) tells us that 40% of all trips, 40% of all the times anyone starts a car up they are traveling under 2 miles! Isn’t that wild? I would say I take about 80% of those trips carbon free. This makes me feel good, and affects my overall carbon footprint. There is a great fact sheet including how much biking affects pollution at the California Air Resources board.
-We cannot all continue to drive all the time, and it is important to teach our kids to use other modes of transportation. When I bike with my kids to a store, or send them out to get on their bike to get to high school, I am teaching them that I am cruel and heartless because I will not drive them. Just kidding, I am really showing them that there are many fun and easy ways to get around. Biking seems normal.
-The more bikes on the road the safer it is for bikes on the road. If drivers have an expectation that they might see a pedestrian or cyclist on a certain street, they will slow down. I know it is frightening to get out there withouta stee; box around you, but if you learn the rules of the road, and wear proper safety gear, it is possible. I have never had a bike accident involving a car, and neither have my three kids. (Well there was that one time that my son rode right into a parked car, but no one was hurt and he is a little distractible.)
-My kids get themselves to school! I do not have to drive to or pick up from three different places every weekday. They just leave and come back on their own. They also have the confidence to ride to a friend’s house, or out for Jamba Juice. I am not their taxi service.
-My body is less saggy, especially those parts behind me that I sit on. (I think we both know what I am talking about.) This is a good thing, and is a reproducible effect on anyone!
-Hey, guess what, I save money on gas.
-I see my neighbors, I see the trees, I am out there in the world. When I am in a car I don’t notice the world around me nearly as much.