Many countries have already encouraged their people to make cycling as an option and not just relying on cars for three obvious reasons:
- To reduce the need for petrol which is getting more expensive for the past couple of years
- To get people to exercise more to prevent obesity health issues from increasing
- To reduce traffic congestion and air pollution caused by cars
Here is one of the interesting graph I got from the Internet showing the number of world bicycle and automobile production for 57 years, between year 1950 and 2007.
- Late 1960s, bicycle and car production tracked each other closely, but bicycle eventually overtook car after 1970.
- In 2007, the world has produced about 130 million bicycle, more than twice the figure of cars.
A number of countries have taken initiative to get people to cycle more:
- In Copenhagen (Denmark), 6 percent of commuters cycle to work. The city plans to invest more than $200 million in bike facilities between 2006 and 2024 and estimates that by 2015 half its residents will bike to work or school.
- In Freiburg (Germany), a city with 218,000 people, has allocated roughly $1.3 million annually for cycling since 1976. Now, about 70 percent of local trips there are made by bike, on foot, or by public transit.
- In Australia, the state of Victoria has amended planning laws to require all new large buildings to provide bike parking and other facilities such as showers and lockers.
- In South Korea, government aims to substantially increase bike ownership by 2015, from one bike for every seven citizens to one for every four.
- In London, employers are given some tax benefits for buying bicycles and encourage their staffs to use to cycle those bikes to work.
- Ironically, in China, the country has recently seen a rapid decrease in bike ownership as its population becomes wealthier and switched to cars. From 1995 to 2005, China’s bike fleet declined by 35 percent, from 670 million to 435 million, while private car ownership more than doubled, from 4.2 million to 8.9 million. Some city have actually closed bike lanes with the reason that cyclists have caused many accidents and congestion. Shanghai even banned bicycles from certain downtown roads in 2004. However, in 2006, China government has ordered cities that had narrowed or removed bike lanes to restore them.
Over here in my country, I do not mind to cycle to work, but few issues – the weather and the distant.
- Living in a hot humid country where we sweat a lot, I probably need to take a shower when I reach office.
- Even if I do not sweat, it is not so practical to cycle with a formal office suite.
- Apart from that, when it rains two out of five days, it is pretty risky to cycle with raincoat to the office early in the morning and back to home late evening.
- Moreover, my office is 10 miles (about 16 kilometers) away, I probably need to wake up much earlier to reach office on time.
Having said that, if my office is less than a mile away, I will seriously consider cycling to work.
How about you, will you cycle to work?
Category: Other Fitness/Sports Articles
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