The Retirement of Bikes; Winter has Arrived
Tuesday, January 13, 20150 Comments
Snow, slush and ice. Winter has finally frozen us into an icy thaw and it is now almost physically impossible to bike to and from campus. Last week I finally retired my bike to the shed, finally accepting the defeat that Winter is here to stay and that the biking days are over.
One of my favourite parts of spring, summer and fall weather is being able to bike anywhere. There is a kind of satisfaction that one can receive from physically transporting yourself from point A to point B is like no other- something that cant be replaced by car or public transportation.
Adding some fresh air and exercise to your daily routine does much more personal benefits. The UK is far ahead of North America with promoting biking as a major method of transportation and according to a UK based study, 42 per cent of transport greenhouse gas emission would be reduced from eliminating cars from our cities.
Cycling for an hour burns about 480 calories on average, while sitting stagnant within a car only burns about 120 calories and hour. A society more focused on cycling would generally be healthier, happier, live longer and apparently miss less days of work, according to the UK based study which was run by NeoMam Studios.
However, the recent arrival of winter has made it almost physically impossible and quite dangerous to use biking as your daily commute. While the Guelph Transit system leaves much to be desired with overcrowded buses, awkwardly timed schedules and no Sunday service it--seems to be the only option for students.
As I am not a huge fan of taking the bus, I have resolved to begin to attempt to replace my daily bike ride commute with walking. A common thought among commuters is that walking is absurdly slow and ancient way of transportation. However the amount of time that a car can spend sitting in traffic is ridiculous, wasteful and unhealthy. According to INRIX, a U.S based traffic data Analysis Company, Torontians waste upwards of 38.5 hours in their daily commute based on an average work-week from Monday-Friday.
While I am not suggesting walking to Toronto as part of your daily commute, I am suggesting that by setting realistic walking goals for yourself we can all improve our physical health, greenhouse gas impact and maybe get a little more Vitamin D this winter. Start by giving yourself a 2km radius of places you challenge yourself to walk to instead of driving or hopping on public transit.
I am writing this to say to all biking and walking enthusiasts like myself to just hold on. Winter came late this year which means there are only three more months until we can start cycling past the cars, reducing carbon emissions and expanding our life expectancy once again.