A Bike Will Increase Your Wealth As Well As Your Health


If I asked you what the most used transport in China is you’d be forgiven for answering “The Bicycle”. During my childhood whenever China was mentioned in the classroom we would see multitudes of folk clogging the streets on their bicycle. Just like the food in China is nothing like Chinese food the transport system is no longer jammed up with bicycles either.

The growth of China’s expanding economy is creating enormous wealth and the cost of a vehicle is no longer outside the reach of the average city dweller. Indeed their demand for CO2 producing fuel has in a few short months deposed the USA and they are now the largest polluters on the planet.

As Al Gore’s Live Earth comes to a close it’s obvious that many Americans are ready to shoulder the responsibility for much of the worlds decline and are not only pledging money to the cause and taking steps to reduce their own carbon footprint.

Growing up in the UK it was common knowledge we used less carbon based fuel per capita than our US counterparts. It was common belief that an American would prefer to get in his motor vehicle than walk the small distance to the nearest shop. To generalise is always dangerous and I have to confess, at least in the UK, this does appear to have become general practice.

The increasing health situation of the 21st century include obesity and poor health through lack of exercise. It’s ironic to listen to Al Gore, a fairly good ambassador for the USA, warning us to avoid our motor vehicle in favour of {{{our|a} bicycle. What a strange world we live in.

Equally odd is to watch the change in China. As we are generalising; consider the ordinary Chinese person in your mind, not local Chinese but the folks you see on TV who live in China right now. Do you see someone unhealthy and fat or someone healthy and not overweight? Chances are the latter. As they cast away their bicycles in favour of the family people carrier is this likely to change?

For a long time I avoided riding my bicycle. The roads are for cars and it’s just too dangerous to take bicycles on them (plus in the UK cyclists do not require insurance, don’t pay tax and there’s no need to wear a safety helmet).

A growing number of special cycling paths have appeared in new cities that lead directly from the out skirts into the center of town. These can save time and money as well as keep you healthy.

I have a fold up bicycle in my car boot I park outside of town. This not only saves money on parking meters but eliminates the frustration of locating an available parking place or returning to discover a fine or wheel clamp too.

I like to locate a Park and Ride. I take the cycle in the bus, shoot around town and then ride back or if it's too cold use the bus to get back.

This is one way that cycling is safe and if the UK, USA and with luck China really want to diminish their carbon footprint they’re going to need to work hard to convince the groups of the benefits.