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309 A Better World 2010-11-19

biking on Mount Evans

We are so dependent on our cars, as vehicles, that it is hard to imagine a more perfect world. Is there such a thing? Personal transportation without physical effort has made the world small; but the auto has not made the world perfect. We are now beginning to pay the price for our indulgence. The number of adults and children with obesity is growing at alarming rates. The world is warming faster than ever expected. The number of deaths each year due to traffic collisions is alarming. Still, we cling to the wheel of our fast moving vehicles oblivious to the world around us.

What if, the bicycle was the predominant mode of transportation? There are twice as many bicycles as cars worldwide; but many people think of bicycles as a kid's toy - not as a means of transportation. So, what if 99% of the population rode bicycles instead of driving cars? Would the world be a better place to live? Hmm.

  • The world would be much larger. A hundred mile trip would be a big day, not an hour and a half of listening to an Audible book.
  • The obesity rate would probably be non-existent. If riding and walking were the primary modes of transportation, children would achieve a new level of fitness. Adults would also experience the benefits of more physical activity. They would live healthier lives.
  • Traffic deaths would drop. Sure there would still be a few collisions with bicycles, but the slower speeds would decrease the fatalities.
  • The suburbs would return to farm land. Sprawl would decrease.
  • Mass transit trains would be the predominant means of long distance travel.
  • Stores would be near freight tracks. Communities would be near the stores.
  • Communities would be more self-sufficient.
  • The roads would be much smaller and probably made from different materials.
  • All grates would be bicycle friendly!
  • Oil would not be a precious commodity.
  • Doctors and dentists would make house calls.
  • There would be more yield signs and less stop signs.
  • More commuters would smile, even in harsh weather.

If we think outside of our four-wheeled boxes of seclusion, we might find better ways to live.

Any ideas... comments are always welcome!

Happy two-wheeled trails.


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