Does Cycling Worth The Risk?
A regular person perceives cycling as a risky and dangerous activity, especially in the urban surroundings. And it is true. The modern state of infrastructure can’t provide cyclists with full protection and safety.
Since cyclists aren’t perceived as full-righty participants of the road movement, numerous obstacles and circumstances make safe and comfortable cycling rides impossible. Crossroads, gouges, crowded sidewalks, neglect from the side of car drives, and general inadequacy of infrastructure put a cyclist under big stress.
That’s why many people think that cycling won’t suit them. Parents won’t let their kids use a bicycle as a transport means and even adults think that public transport or a private car is a much safer means of transport. But are they?
Car driving is closely related to various health risks such as obesity, low physical activity, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. Our sedentary lifestyle forces us to move as much as possible outside the office walls and cycling can serve as an ideal solution.
It is hard to imagine how the human body degrades with the use of motor transport and with the absence of physical activities. Daily routine often doesn’t leave time for physical exercises because right after we wake, we cook breakfast, make up our beds, go to a shower and then go to do a sedentary job for nine hours straight. After this, a regular person heads home to watch TV on the sofa and goes to sleep after that. Not very entertaining.
We repeat this day by day, month by month having no exercises at all. Cycling can serve as the perfect intermediate between your home and the workplace. Usually, we spend from thirty to fifty minutes to get to work. But you can turn them into something healthy and entertaining. If you will cycle for forty minutes to work and back home, you will have a daily recommended dose of physical exercises.
So we need to determine the benefits and advantages of cycling to find out if cycling is worth the risk or not.
The health benefits of cycling are well-known. When we cycle we train our respiratory, nervous, and cardiovascular systems, as well as our torso and legs work hard to get us to our destination point.
Cycling could bring a lot of new and entertaining things to your life. Stuffed and boring public transport, as well as constant traffic and tie-ups, can stress anybody. Cycling will let you feel and independent. You can enjoy physical exercising, nature’s sceneries, you can explore your neighborhood or stop for a cup of coffee at your favorite coffee shop.
Cycling opens a whole new world for you which you were able to see only through a window glass of a bus or a car.
Cycling is an efficient and cheap means of transport. Considering the situation with traffic and the street’s busyness during rush hour, a quick and smooth cycling trip will be a better option no matter where you are heading.
Also, you won’t need to seek a free parking lot and gas up your bicycle (for obvious reasons). Bicycles are simple and highly-manageable and in the terms of costs and efficiency, he has no competitors.
The main thing that stops people from choosing a bike as their main means of transport is the fear of the road, or more precisely the fear to get into a road accident. It’s true that cyclists often get hurt on the road because most of the cities don’t have a proper cycling infrastructure and bicycles are an unprotected transport type.
Car drivers won’t be hurt if he will hit a cyclist on a road but the cyclist will be exposed to mortal danger. But the real thing is that there’s a lot more car drivers and motorcyclists who die on the roads of our cities. And it is not related to comparative quantities of road accidents. Cyclists behave more carefully and responsibly on the roads because they do understand the danger and possible consequences of their behavior. Also, cyclists don’t try to show off on the road unlike motorcyclists and some car drivers.
Bicycle-related accidents are the main reason why bicycles are still not so popular in big cities. But compared with walking, biking could be less risky for a few reasons: cyclists are less exposed to exhaust gases than pedestrians because they spend less time on the busy street than they do and bike safety gear gives some extra protection in the case if something will happen. You will never see a pedestrian wearing a helmet all day long.
A sane, adequate cyclist is exposed only to one certain risk – being hit by an absent-minded car driver. Car drivers have a neglecting attitude towards cyclists that’s why a cyclist could be hit by a car.
Road accidents that involve cyclists and motor vehicles contain a danger for humans but in reality, the benefits of cycling outweigh possible risks. In a long-term perspective, a regular person is exposed to much higher health and well-being risks such as cardiovascular diseases and other health illnesses.
Cycling in a city
But still, many people won’t switch to bicycles until cities will have well-developed and secured bicycle infrastructures such as bicycle routes, tracks, well-managed crossroads, and comfortable sidewalks.
Most cities are uncomfortable and are not designed for mass cycling movement. Cars bother cyclists, cyclists bother pedestrians and once a big public bus enters the road, a cyclist is forced to stand by and watch till this clumsy machine will move away.
Such surroundings can’t motivate many people to change their cars and public transport for a bicycle since only a few people perceive a bicycle as independent and full means of transport.
Road movement implies certain risks no matter which transport you use. There are numerous accidents which involve cars and public transport, much more than cycling-related ones.
Serious or little accidents happen all the time. You can fall off your bicycle when you’re dismounting at the crossroad or you can hit a trash bin with your car during the parking. A child can run across the street with no warning giving the choice to fall or to hit him bad.
Big city life implies numerous risks but there’s only one risk that is closely related to you. It is air pollution.
Motor vehicles emit vast amounts of toxic exhaust gases and combustion products which we breathe in every day. But some of us are exposed a lot more than others. Surprisingly, but car drivers are the ones who are exposed the most to them.
While a car driver sits in traffic for hours day by day, he breathes in big volumes of CO2, exhaust cases, and other combustion products right from the backfire. This dangerous cocktail viciously harms human health by causing numerous health illnesses such as respiratory diseases, cardiovascular events, and nervous system damage.
Public transport users are exposed to other hazards but they also get their part of combustion products. Buses, subways are a breeding ground for bacteria and different viruses, as well as stuffed and poor air, is saloons and wagons are saturated with CO2 and the used air.
Pedestrians and cyclists are located much further from the exhaust gases’ sources. Cyclists spent less time on the street than pedestrians because cycling is an efficient and quick option to get to the destination point.
Cyclists aren’t tied to the roads because they have enough time, speed, and maneuverability to choose their own path through the parks, recreation zones, promenades and they can choose less crowded and busy streets for their route.
An experienced cyclist always has his own map, mostly virtual, of the most comfortable, clean, and secure streets. Cycling is worth the risk because its benefits easily outweigh the possible risk of being pushed by a car or a vague pedestrian.
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