six times, according to the National Sporting Goods
Association; other data indicates that over 100 million
Americans cycled at least once.
And what about the health benefits?
Cycling makes for great brain food. Every morning
neuroscientist Brian Christie hops on his bike, goes to
the gym, and then rides the rest of the way to work.
Says Christie, “When I get to my desk, my brain is at
peak activity ... I can double or triple the production of
neurons — literally building my brain capacity.” Despite
a sprawling landscape, half of our nation’s labor force still
lives within five miles of employment according to the
most recent National Household Transportation Survey.
That’s a totally doable 25-minute ride. By pedaling this
distance four times per week, one can burn up to 6,000
calories — or two pounds of fat — each month.
By Martin Zimmerman
It was not that long ago that a drivers’ license was a coveted status symbol and a sacred right-of-passage to adulthood. Meanwhile, the car’s two-wheeled prede- cessor, whose popularity had ebbed and flowed since well before the car was invented, was being disparag- ingly marketed as a surrogate car to children. Bicycles
were even designed to look like cars, with wide tires,
streamlined front headlights and faux gas tanks. That was
an era of manicured front lawns, black and white television sets, Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best.
Today’s mobility environment bears little relationship to
the 1950s, as users of all stripes take advantage of pedaling’s inherent benefits.
Bicycling is comfortably affordable. Simply by choosing one less car, a family can accumulate over $130,000
in savings by the time their child enters college. And
bicycling makes a good fit for one-third of the population who lack access or choose to forego auto ownership.
For many users, the motive is sustainability: bicycle
riding eliminates carbon emissions, favors compact
neighborhoods over sprawl, and fosters a balanced transportation system with parity among different travel modes.
Last year, 35 million Americans saddled a bike at least
Five miles of pedaling four
times per week can burn
up to 6,000 calories.
A Chosen Route for Health
Photo by Juan Alberto Puentes