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It’s Ryan here to report on the benefits of using bikes as transportation, not just exercise! Almost no carbon footprint, great for your health, AND even better for your wallet. Read on, reader! 

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Ever since I was a little kid I’ve had a love of biking, it wasn’t until I was older did I realize how many benefits I had been unknowably gaining. The 1:1 Movement team takes a closer look at the various benefits to biking instead of driving.

With a growing pollution and garbage epidemic it’s important as a community that we all take steps to ensure the well-being of our world for generations to come. On top of that we face a growing obesity epidemic; with the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reporting in 2009-2010 more than 35% of US adults are obese and 16.9% of children are obese. Obesity comes with additional problems such as an increase in heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. However there is a ray of hope, a sustainable solution that can help across all these bases, cycling to work. By cycling instead of driving you not only cut down on your carbon footprint by not burning fossil fuels; you also get a great workout in the process.

Let’s start by going over the savings not only on the planet but on your wallet you can make by cycling in to work. The Business insider reported that according to AAA the average upkeep cost a year of a car in 2012 was 8,946$ as compared to a bike which required only 307$ in upkeep. On top of those savings you can also count in all the gas you will be saving. That not only will make a mark on your wallet but also on the environment. Biking to work is not only entirely sustainable but it also reduces all forms of pollution from air, (smog, and emissions) waste, (old cars, oil,) to noise, (engines, horns honking.) By biking instead of driving you not only help the environment, you help yourself.

Next let’s go over the numerous health benefits you can expect to see from biking instead of driving. The average half hour commute will burn anywhere from 75-675 calories burning 11 pounds of fat in a year. On top of that biking comes with other numerous benefits to your heart, brain, and lifespan. It’s also ideal for those with poor joints as well since there is no hard contact just easy circling that helps strengthen the joints.

The sustainability is easy to see, virtually no carbon footprint, and saving precious resources you’d otherwise be burning. However you may be asking yourself “but how can I make this work for me” Luckily Gale Bernhardt, Triathlon trainer and Athens athlete has some tips for how to make a ride into work a possibility.  Beyond that if going to a shopping or otherwise there are numerous modifications that can be made to any bicycle to allow them to carry grocery bags or other shopping bags. Alternatively backpacks can be used to carry an amount of food or items as you move around.

Choosing to bike instead of drive can have a big impact not only on your life and health, but the health of the community you live in. Even if it’s only from time to time any small step in the right direction still helps. Now get out there strap on your helmets and enjoy the ride!

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