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Biking for a Greener Planet, Healthier You

September 1, 2010

Biking to work or just for enjoyment cuts down on consumption of oil and burns calories.

By Joanna Hamblin. Follow her on Twitter

Now that summer is winding down and we look to get back to our work and school routines, it’s a good opportunity to take a look at how we get there.

Some drive their car; others take the commuter train or the bus, while some still commute by bike – including myself. While biking I like to enjoy the scenery, say hello to neighbors and rely less on costly and polluting fossil fuels.

Biking is the most energy efficient form of personal transportation – it’s also very fun! According to the Worldwatch Institute, “Energy used per passenger-mile (calories) is 1,860 for a car, while only 35 for a bike.”

With more than 30 percent of the American population being categorized as obese and most trips lasting three miles or less – riding a bike can help us become more active while contributing to cleaner air as a result of less tail-pipe emissions. It’s a win/win for our health and the environment.

The benefits of biking are bestowed upon those who commute for work or bike for pleasure. In Massachusetts there are several scenic bike paths that provide miles of gorgeous routes. There are also many organizations which promote safe cycling and awareness and organize charity bike rides.

Some great resources for bicyclists can be found here:

Remember to Ride Safe by:

  • Wearing your helmet – head trauma is almost always irreversible
  • Wearing reflective clothing and/or blinking lights for visibility, especially at night
  • Using hand signals to notify other motorists and pedestrians
  • Not wearing headphones – listening to oncoming traffic

Finally, don’t forget enjoy the ride knowing that by biking you are reducing oil consumption and your waistline.

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