Today’s #FunFriday thought was inspired by an illustration called “Ride Bikes, Not Cars!” by Sandra Ure Griffin. I think her cute illustrative message is one we can make happen!
Question: How many more people do you think would be riding their bikes to work, for errands, or even vacations if our community’s infrastructure made it safe to do so? I know I would, even during the hot Las Vegas summer months. It’s an easy two-mile roundtrip to Starbucks…I’d do it in the early morning, of course.
But if we had more walkable and bikeable communities — urban, rural and suburban — I’d bet we’d enjoy a better quality of life. Let me share three reasons that immediately come to my mind.
Burn Calories, Not Gasoline
I think we’d see improvements across a wide range of health conditions simply because of increased daily physical activity. Daily walking has been shown to lower blood pressure, bad cholesterol, reduce body fat percentages, and increase muscle mass (that burns more calories). Cycling improves stamina and lung capacity. Triathlon training (swimming, biking, and running/walking) works on every part of the body. That’s just for starters!
With less traffic on our roads, we’d have less polluted air and ozone levels to breathe. That would certainly be of help the millions of Americans who suffer from a chronic respiratory conditions like asthma, COPD, and emphysema. When you can’t breathe, it makes doing the tasks of daily (independent) living much, much harder!
More Friendliness, Less Road Rage
With more face-to-face and eye-contact, wouldn’t we have more “hellos” and smiles between people? I’d like to think so. Hmm, could that lead to more compassionate, patient, or civil behavior? Perhaps even foster a deeper sense of community!
You know, it’s way too easy to “flip the bird” at another driver when we’re tucked within two tons of moving steel and plastic. That false sense of security is shattered with that enraged driver swerves into us, stalks us, or uses a gun!
More Money in Our Bank Accounts
Imagine how much richer we might feel if the annual cost of automobile ownership sat in our savings accounts or investments? Go ahead, and add up all those expenses: monthly loans or lease payments, fuel costs, registration renewals, ferry fares and bridge tolls, repairs and maintenance (don’t forget car washes and detailing!), and more.
With that extra money, we might buy more organic and fresh foods, participate in more races or events, or opt for a vacation destination best experienced by foot or bike.
Now I’m certainly not advocating for a car-free world. That’s simply unreasonable…but having walkable sidewalks and barrier-based bike lanes are possible and do-able! We as residents can advocate that with elected officials and infrastructure planning agencies. Be respectful, persistent, and proactive!
I wonder what it would be like to pedal through drive-thru at Starbucks? That’s a tasty thought!
Let me know what you think by posting your thoughts over on the Slowpoke Divas’ Facebook page.
Thank you, Sandra!
Heartfelt thanks and gratitude to “Ride Bikes, Not Cars!” artist Sandra Ure Griffin for allowing me to share her fun and meaningful poster here at SlowpokeDivas.com. Visit www.sandrauregriffin.com to see more of her works, and to make a purchase.
Originally published Sept. 12, 2014 | Revised and republished on Sept. 1, 2023.