Updated on 16.07.2022.
“Cycling More Efficient than Walking & Best Alternative For Green Mode Of Transportation.”
I am reminded of 1990 when I was working in AIIMS Delhi as a representative and saw the Head Of the Department of Skin-Dr. L.K. Bhutani came to the hospital on his bicycle. Even when he rose to the post of Director-AIIMS-he used to go everywhere on his bicycle and used his car rarely. It used to be a strange sight, but the fact is that even thirty years back when the craze for the personal vehicle was very high and people would love to show off-we had such examples as well. It might have been purely based on the various advantages that Dr Bhutani would have been using his bicycle and the most important could be to keep himself fit and fine health-wise.
I remember for sure that many such people in Srinagar-my hometown would love to do most of their utilitarian work through their bicycles, which were used for transportation, bicycle commuting, and utility cycling. It was being used as a ‘workhorse’, used by mail carriers, paramedics, police, messengers, and general delivery services in the early seventies and even till the early eighties. I had my uncle-Prof. B K Bhan-who was a professor of chemistry at Amar Singh College and he was known for his frequent rides on his bicycle. He would use only his bicycle, especially for all purposes-whether going to various places or even to far-off markets. I had observed one thing in him and that was his fitness and maintaining a slim and fit body. Many such instances are coming to mind where my near relations used only bicycles for their transportation and were keeping themselves fit that way.
The extent to which one can use the exercise component while cycling depends mainly on the level of effort to be put in while pedalling. In cycling, wind makes a big difference in your cycling effort and speed. Cycling with the wind can give you a tremendous boost in average speed, but a crosswind or headwind can slow you down and make pedalling significantly harder and slow you down dramatically.
Following are the main advantages for a cyclist over a normal walking man: –
a) increased cardiovascular fitness. b) increased muscle strength and flexibility. c) improved joint mobility. d)decreased stress levels. e) improved posture and coordination. f) strengthened bones. g) decreased body fat levels. h) prevention or management of the disease.
Cycling is more efficient than walking, so you’ll probably work harder by walking briskly and probably exercise your heart, lungs and major muscles more. Cycling is probably less hard on your hips, knees and ankles than walking. Cycling is an excellent aerobic exercise that helps your heart, blood vessels, and lungs to get a workout. Riders can choose their level of intensity based on their current health status or personal goal.
Ideally speaking, we must make cycling a must here in some parts of India as well. Especially in Delhi-where the pollution levels have touched the worst numbers. The bicycling industry not only provides economic benefits, but shifting trips from cars to bicycles helps reduce congestion, air pollution and CO2 emissions as well as improve riders’ health. Look at the developed countries of Europe-where money is in abundance, most of the countries using Bicycles as their main transportation is a real answer towards going greener as the need of the hour is.
The Netherlands holds the record as the nation with the most bicycles per capita. Cyclists also abound in Norway, Sweden, Germany, and Denmark. The Danish capital, Copenhagen, is considered the most bicycle-friendly city in the world. As every discerning traveller knows, bikes outnumber humans in Amsterdam by a significant margin and the city is fully adapted to two-wheeled transportation.
Bicycling is super safe in the Netherlands. The Dutch don’t need bike helmets because cycling is not an intrinsically dangerous activity–it’s the road environment that is dangerous, and the Dutch have created a safe cycling environment. Most head injuries are sustained by car occupants. Bicycles are used by all socio-economic groups because of their convenience, Amsterdam’s small size, the 400 km of bike paths, the flat terrain, and the arguable inconvenience of driving an automobile: Driving a car is discouraged, parking fees are expensive, and many streets are closed to cars or are one-way for the motor.
When the people of Copenhagen were asked why they choose to ride their bikes rather than ride in a car or on public transportation, they answered simply “because it’s the fastest way of getting around in the city.” The bicycle offers an economic, comfortable, easy, and sustainable way of human mobility — for the rich, and the poor. It’s still a major mode of transport for many cities in emerging countries and could continue to be if encouraged as an alternative to the car. Following are the countries featuring in the top ten in the world where the transportation is majorly Bicycle-encouraging the green mode of transportation: –
A) Germany. b) Sweden. C)Norway. d) Finland. E) Japan. F) Switzerland. G) Belgium. H) China.
Here are some cities that are actively encouraging Bicycling-as the green mode of transportation.
1. COPENHAGEN, DENMARK. Copenhagen is often considered the most bike-friendly city in the world.
2. AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS.
3. PORTLAND, OREGON.
4. BOULDER, COLORADO.
5. MONTREAL, CANADA.
6. TOKYO, JAPAN.
7. RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL.
8. STRASBOURG, FRANCE.