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Reasons why the bicycle remains a promising solution to climate change

Bicycle as a method of practical transportation for tourism

Bicycles offer sustainable personal mobility for all 

There was a bicycle craze before the industrial revolution from 1892-1899. This was before automobiles were even made. Long before we, as a society, we’re emitting carbon dioxide into the air from manufacturing plants. This bicycle craze was due to a desire for personal mobility. It meant even women could get out and about, albeit with new forms of clothing. It’s been said that “Necessity is the Mother of Invention” making the bicycle a precursor to other means of personal mobility. 

The beginning of the 20th century saw the invention of automobiles, electric trams, and even motorcycles becoming an alternative to personal bicycling. Bicycling didn’t become obsolete, it just wasn’t as practical. 

The rise of urban bicycling in the 20th century

It wasn’t until there was investment in bicycling infrastructure, such as bike lanes in major cities,  spurring people to use bikes as a means of transport to and from work as well as for leisurely recreation. Bicycle manufacturers developed lightweight models for both men and women and children. It wasn’t one-size-fits-all. Plus they were economical and enjoyable. 

I was struck by this article published by the World Economic forum back in 2015. 

“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.”

“The Sustainable Development Goals include sustainable transport, but presently the main focus is on public transport.” 

Consider the positive impacts bicycling has on everybody, everywhere 

Bicycling has been shown to improve one’s health, reduce both air and noise pollution, be highly cost-effective, and employ sustainable production methods. With all of that going for it, why aren’t there more bicycle riders on the road?

Contribution to the economy; some fast facts 

How many bicycles are produced annually in the world? 

100 million. It is predicted the cycling industry will produce 5 billion by 2050. 

Which countries have the most bicycles? Most bike roads?

The Netherlands has the most bikes per capita while Copenhagen, Denmark is considered the most bike-friendly city in the world.

What is the best reason given why people prefer a bicycle vs. public transportation or autos?

Reducing their commute time by as much as 75%.

Bicycle touring as a method of sustainable travel

Trek Bikes has been producing bicycles since 1975. See their travel division offering a variety of bike tours across the world. Of course, you can also participate in bike rentals and bike share programs offered in many cities around the world.

Bicycling has become a popular form of personal transportation once again, even to the point where cities are changing their urban landscape as part of their sustainability plans. Take for example, Paris shutting down one of their major thoroughfares, the Champs-Élysées, one sunday a month. The plan is to make it permanent by the time the 2024 Summer Games begin.

It seems like a simple solution but it’s not

There are a lot of factors that contribute to climate change. Even if we did away with fossil fuel entirely (a radical thought) there would still be other forms of transportation emitting carbon dioxide. That’s why it’s a concerted global effort to find as many sustainable solutions to implement as we can. Bicycling is a solid path to sustainability and therefore remains a promising solution to combat climate change.

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