As human technology moves forward, the nature inevitably finds itself on the wrong side of the wheel, trampled by our advances. As smoke rises from our automobiles, the Earth slowly suffocates in our misdeeds.
Luckily, a 200-year-old contraption can be an effective substitute.
Bicycles provide an easy mode of transportation just like cars, minus the toxic gases. It has proven to be the most efficient form of transportation, converting as much as ninety percent (90%) of the input energy from the legs to forward motion. In comparison, a car only converts about twenty percent (20%); energy input in the form of gasoline is converted more to heat energy and sound energy.
Riding a bike also proves to be one of the most effective forms of cardiovascular exercise. The effort trains our leg and heart muscles. It reduces our risk of having a heart attack or stroke, prevents obesity and even arthritis, among many others. There is also less risk of injuries in biking compared to other forms of exercise. Your workout routine can be as light or as intense as you want. It is also pretty cheap, relatively speaking.
On the other hand, cars, especially poorly maintained ones, pump multitudes of noxious gases in the air that can harm our lungs and contribute to the worsening global climate condition.
Lastly, according to World Health Organization (WHO), if everyone were to use bikes instead of cars, 4.2 million people would be saved from death relating to air pollution.
While it is impossible to replace gasoline power with leg power entirely, bikes can replace cars for a handful of short tips. Here in Sagrada, 57% of the students claim to own a bike. The students use them for a variety of reasons: exercise, following errands like buying from a nearby store, leisure trips like going to a park or a friend, or for some, going to school. Some say riding a bike is relaxing. It is their go-to whenever they need an escape from stress or isn’t in the best mood.
Technology has taken an unexpected turn. Instead of heading to the clean and brighter path, it led us to a hazy, bleak future. Lucky for us, bicycles are here to help. Let us pedal our way to a cleaner world and tread lightly so nature can flourish freely as we advance.
By: Ram Tenorio