As more people around the world are more aware and educated about the drastic effect of pollution on our planet and our personal health throughout the years, people and societies are adapting to the cycling culture. There are a lot of benefits attributed to bicycling. You can save money on gas, you keep your weight in check, you can get to places and shortcuts that would otherwise not be available through automobiles and you contribute to the worldwide problem with climate change and destruction of the ozone layer. There are so many pros and not so many cons to cycling.
Cycling culture is defined as a mainstream culture adapted by a community or society that supports the use of bicycles as a means of primary transportation. An example of this would be the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Italy, China, Bangladesh, and Japan. There are also towns in some countries where bicycle culture has been a fundamental part of society for generations, even without much support from the government.
That is the case of Ílhavo, in Portugal. In the US and Canada, some cities with an excellent bicycle culture are Madison, Portland, San Francisco, Boston, Toronto, Montreal, Lincoln, Peoria, and the Twin Cities.
These cities that have a strong bicycle culture usually have a well-developed cycling infrastructure, including segregated bike lanes and extensive facilities catering to urban bicycles, such as bike racks. One example is the Netherlands where instead of strictly enforcing helmets on riders they have made infrastructure and the roads safe for bicycles.
The environmental impact of the cycling culture is extensive. For one thing, it consumes zero fossil fuel. In 2020 alone, The United States consumed 72.94 quadrillions of British thermal. The good news is this figure shows a significant decline. This is partly due to the overall reduction of energy consumption during the coronavirus pandemic. The highest recorded fossil fuel consumption was in 2018, which was 81.27 quadrillion British thermal units.
Apart from that, it creates zero pollution when used as a transport. Every year, the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the U.S. increase. According to experts, it is foreseen to increase by 35 percent between 2005 and 2030. By numbers, this amounts to 7.2 to 9.7 billion tons CO2 equivalent.
With that said, the greater the number of trips made by bicycle, the slower will be the rate of this increase. On a smaller scale, this would amount to 6-14 million tons of CO2 avoided and 700 million to 1.6 billion gallons of fuel saved.
To the individual and community that adapts a cycling culture, it comes with great savings too. The cost for transportation allowance, budget for gas and car maintenance will be significantly decreased. A family or big households would have a greater advantage as these savings could incrementally go to college education funds for the children, medical sinking funds or insurance, yearly vacations for the whole family, and the like.
The national and local governments also benefit from the cycling culture. Mainly because bicycles could use 80-90% of the current infrastructures in the US. It also takes up less space in parking lots so there is no need to build more parking lots for cars. That said buildings and development will be minimal and would be less of a threat to underdeveloped areas that are against gentrification.
There is a huge variety of bikes in a cycling-centric community. It all depends on the needs, quality of roads, and hobbies that cyclists have. The most common type of bike used is a road bike. This is very useful in highly urbanized areas. They are designed to run fast on well-paved surfaces, hence its name. It has a lightweight frame and narrow wheels, which would be an advantage for city rides but would be a great deal of discomfort and disadvantage for unpaved surfaces.
The next most common bike used is the mountain bike. It has a heavier frame and a bit wider wheels specially designed for rocky trails, gravel roads, and mountainous environments. Although they are not as fast as road bikes, they are very handy when climbing steep terrains. The handlebars of mountain bikes are also designed for better steering and control. They can also be used in the city but they would not be as fast as road bikes. However, they are at an advantage with potholes and other urban road hindrances.
Another bike that is also very handy when it comes to transportation is the Touring bike. It is designed for very long travels, for those who have touring bicycles on their bucket list or have their bike as primary transportation for longer destinations. Unlike the formerly mentioned ones, touring bikes have a bigger capacity for baggage. The frame is very sturdy and allows for smoother travels. The average touring cyclist can hold around 20 to 40 pounds of baggage on his bike.
One bike that is also very popular among urban cyclists is the folding bike. It is very lightweight and can be folded. However, the wheels are smaller so it’s not very comfortable and fast compared to road bikes. One advantage of this though, is that it can be taken anywhere. Some use it to ride going to train stations and it would be allowed inside. It can also be taken to planes, ships, cruises, yachts, or boats. That is why a lot of people opt for the folding bike.
Having a cycling culture in one’s own community has a lot of perks and making it mainstream even so. People would not overthink so much as to what kind of proper attire you need or what bike upgrades you need before you can fully get into riding as a part of one’s way of life. Cycling culture is primarily function over form. With that said, if you enjoy riding your bike or would like to incorporate it in your effort to better your health, just pick up your bike, put a helmet on, and just ride it.
However, if you can’t go out due to the weather or restrictions of the pandemic, there is still an option for you to ride your bike. That is by using the Smart Bike Trainer Stand BT01 from FlexiSpot. You just prop your bike on it and cycle away. You don’t need a spinning machine if you already have a bike with this product. You can use it at home, at the office, wherever you like. This bike trainer is equipped with a reinforced buckle and super-wide base, providing you a safe and stable training state no matter how intense your exercise is.