Thursday, August 18, 2011

Didn't ride today. Feel like a lamebrain.

Can I use the heat as an excuse? Cause it'll be 106 when I go to head home and all appearances to the contrary, that is pretty rough. And I've got this weird pain in my left knee. I'm still a little skittish from back-to-back IT band issues and tendonitis last winter, so I'm way cued in to what my body tells me, but cycling is supposed to not hurt knees, no? Am I totally wrong? Definitely don't want to have to go to the damn podiatrist again, not for biking problems. I haven't run more than 6 miles at a time in over a month (oh, yuck, need to fix that) so ... what's my problem, eh.

Anyway, articles of this nature have been making the rounds, and they put the smile back on my face. The Bicing program in Barcelona was the first bike share I'd seen, and the first time cycling appeared on my radar as a mode of transportation rather than just another form of exercise. You saw those little red bikes everywhere, and I so wished I could have joined in (unfortunately, they were only for Spanish citizens. Americans living in Barcelona for two months were outta luck)

It's obvious that getting out of the car and onto a bike is good for your health—less passive sitting, more exercise, more sunshine, yadda yadda yadda. But I'd always worried that any healthcare related savings would be cancelled out by accident-related deaths. Turns out that's not the case! Granted, 12 is a little number, but just barely 11% of the population has opted in. The more people participate, the more lives are saved (and actually that number might go up faster than linear—more people on bikes means fewer people in cars means fewer car vs bike accidents)

There are a few bike-share programs here in the states, mainly up north where all those damn hippies live. Down here in cowboy country, we're target targets, not aspirational targets. This study won't make the rounds too far because a lot of people just don't want to hear about it, most drivers seem pretty married to their engines and don't want to hear that it's killing them. But with all the studies out recently about how a sedentary lifestyle takes away years, I'm excited to see something positive and reaffirming.

I wonder what the air pollution is like, here versus there.

Update: Another bike safety story: Do the health benefits of cycling outweigh the safety risks? In Europe, yes. In Canada, maybe. In the U.S. ... hey, check it out, Pinhead Starlet is up baby creek! You were saying?

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