In Honor of National Bike Month…
By: Hannah Remmert
As May finally rolls in, Queen’s popular hit “Bicycle Races” definitely seems to have it right with the repetitive chorus of “I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike”. Sponsored by The League of American Bicyclists, May is National Bike Month.
Biking is something that often gets overlooked, or perhaps seen as a hassle on campus. However, it has value that extends far beyond that which meets the eye.
One great thing about biking are the health benefits. According to NutriStrategy, over the course of an hour long bike ride, an individual can burn up to almost 500 calories. Additionally, biking increases strength and builds muscle, which will in turn raise metabolism. This will lead to your body burning more calories in general.
Another obvious benefit to biking is its convenience as a method of transportation. Not only can it be easier than taking a bus, or quicker than walking, riding a bike leaves a much lower carbon footprint compared to driving.
Bikes serve as a great alternative to cars in many ways. In the short-term, bikes lead to much less pollution and general smog. They also create less of a demand for the sacred-few parking spaces. However, the long term results sound even more appealing.
As Amelia Neptune, Bicycle Friendly America Program Specialist for the League of American Bicyclists points out, “Think about how much space a car takes up as opposed to a bike. If we replaced cars with bikes, we could use that physical space for better, more enjoyable things such as parks. It would be nicer for communities and people alike.”
In the United States alone, there are over 4,000 Walmarts. Each one of those has an utterly massive parking lot. And that’s only one type of store. According to The New York Times, “There are said to be at least 105 million and maybe as many as two billion parking spaces in the United States.”
America must pay attention to how its land is being used. Since our nation relies heavily on cars as a primary source of transportation, according to the United States Department of Transportation, much of our land is being used as space for them. Biking provides a simple alternative to cars, one that is both better for us and for our world.
If you’ve now been inspired to go for spin around Miami’s campus, Officer Ben Spilman of the Miami University Police Department reassures that “Bike theft around campus is very rare. It’s uncommon that we get reports of stolen bikes nowadays, because people are taking better precautions with their property.” Spilman also adds that he “couldn’t remember the last time there was a bike accident.”
So next time you head to class, to work, or wherever it is you may be going, consider riding a bike! The impact extends far beyond just you.