When seeing someone cycling on the street, one may wonder why cyclists don’t just drive a car instead of riding a bike, especially in hot weathers or chilly days. There is air condition in the car that will provide a cool or warm condition for people. Besides, the seats of the car are more comfortable than bicycle seats, and one doesn’t have to pedal or sweat. He can just sit comfortably and enjoy himself. Sometimes he can even take a snap in the car. So why don’t cyclists just drive a car? Let’s figure out together.
First of all, let’s take a look at the advantages of cycling.
Advantages of Cycling
Reach your destination faster.
When coming across traffic jams, riding a bicycle will save you much time. According to the research by Citroen, commute by bike in the UK’s major cities and you’ll get there in half the time of cars. And if you drive for an hour in Cardiff’s rush hour, you will probably spend more than 30 minutes going nowhere with the average speed of 7 miles per hour, compared to averaging around 15 miles per hour.
Have a nicer sleep at night
Riding in the morning might tire you out in the short term, but it will help you catch some quality shut-eye when you get back to your pillow. Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine did an experiment from this aspect. They asked sedentary insomnia sufferers to cycle for 20 to 30 minutes every other day. The result showed that riding was very helpful, for their time required to fall asleep was reduced by half, and their sleep time increased by almost an hour.
“Exercising outside exposes you to daylight,” explains Professor Jim Horne from Loughborough University’s Sleep Research Centre. “This helps get your circadian rhythm back in sync, and also rids your body of cortisol, the stress hormone that can prevent deep, regenerative sleep.”
Scientists at Stanford University have found that cycling regularly can protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation and reduce the signs of aging. Harley Street dermatologist Dr. Christopher Rowland Payne explains: “Increased circulation through exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to skin cells more effectively, ﬂushing harmful toxins out at the same time. Exercise also creates an ideal environment within the body to optimize collagen production, helping reduce the appearance of wrinkles and speed up the healing process.”
Boost your bowels
“Physical activity helps decrease the time it takes food to move through the large intestine, limiting the amount of water absorbed back into your body and leaving you with softer stools, which are easier to pass,” explains Harley Street gastroenterologist Dr. Ana Raimundo. In addition, aerobic exercise accelerates your breathing and heart rate, which helps to stimulate the contraction of intestinal muscles. “As well as preventing you from feeling bloated, this helps protect you against bowel cancer,” says Dr. Raimundo.
Increase your brain power
Researchers from the University of Illinois have found that there is a 5% improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness from cycling led to an improvement of up to 15% in mental tests. That’s because cycling helps build new brain cells. “It boosts blood ﬂow and oxygen to the brain, which ﬁres and regenerates receptors, explaining how exercise helps ward off Alzheimer’s,” explains the study’s author, Professor Arthur Kramer.
Save space and be environmentally friendly
20 bikes can be parked in the same space as one car. It takes around 5% of the materials and energy used to produce a car to build a bike. A bike needs no fuel to run and produces zero pollution.
It’s good for breeding
According to researchers from Michigan University in the US, mums-to-be who regularly exercise during pregnancy have an easier, less complicated labor, recover faster and enjoy better overall mood throughout the nine or ten months.
“There’s no doubt that moderate exercise such as cycling during pregnancy helps condition the mother and protect the fetus,” says Patrick O’Brien, a spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Sports physiologists found that the body’s metabolic rate – the efﬁciency with which it burns calories and fat – is not only raised during a ride, but for several hours afterward. “Even after cycling for 30 minutes, you could be burning a higher amount of total calories for a few hours after you stop,” says sports physiologist Mark Simpson of Loughborough University.
Strengthen your willpower
If you are fond of long-distance cycling, you would get plenty of benefits from it. Firstly, you need to get ready for it. You need to find your teammates first, and you will improve your social skill and communicative ability through this process. Then you have to make a plan together. Through this process, your team spirit will be promoted, which is very important for your work. During long-distance cycling, you may face a lot of difficulties, such as emergencies, suboptimal weathers, food or water shortness, and even the thought of giving up. Going through all these problems helps to build a stronger you and will power.
See different or unique scenery that you can’t see on a car
By cycling, you can get to places where by walking or driving can’t get to. In this fast-paced era, people tend to ignore the beauty around them, or they are too busy to discover beauty. Sometimes, you will get to places full of surprise and amazement. You will find sceneries that you may not notice before. It’s really a good choice to get some refreshment by cycling to suburbs. Cycling relaxes not only your body but also your mind.
Beautiful scenery on the road
People usually think that cyclists would suck up more pollution than the drivers and passengers in the vehicles chucking out the harmful gasses. However, according to a study conducted by Imperial College London, the fact is that researchers found that passengers in buses, taxis and cars imbibed more pollution than cyclists and pedestrians. On average, taxi passengers were exposed to more than 100,000 ultrafine particles per cubic centimeter, which may settle in the lungs and damage cells. Compared to bus passengers’ almost reaching 100,000 and car drivers’ about 40,000, cyclists’ 8,000 is an optimistic one.
Disadvantages of Cycling
When it happens to be bad weather, cycling may become dangerous
Probably that’s the most annoying thing people come across while riding. It’s a fine day in the morning, and you want to get some refreshment and ride a bike to the park. Suddenly the weather changes and it rains cats and dogs which turns you into a drowned rat. In hot seasons like summer, one might get dehydrated or heatstroke.
There is no cycle path in some areas and district
The fact is cycling is not getting its attention as it should be. In some areas, there is no cycle path; although cycle paths do exist in the city, some bad-manner drivers occupy them. It’s very dangerous for cyclists.
Cycling can be costly
As well as photographing and drawing, cycling can be costly. A normal bike costs about 500 RMB (about 72 US dollars), when it comes to professional bikes like mountain bike or road bike, the price is astonishing. Some of the bikes may even up to thousands of dollars. But compared to those harmful manners, this kind of expense is really worthy.
Advantages of Driving
Comfortable and fast
Most cars have air condition. No matter it is hot or rainy or snowy outside, you don’t have to worry about. Just close the window and stay comfortably and then you can get to your destinations. Besides, driving is fast (only under the condition of no traffic jam on the road).
Disadvantages of Driving
It requires a license
Everyone knows that a driver without a license can’t drive on the road. To get a driver’s license, one needs to practice for weeks and spend a lot of money. As for cycling, one just needs to learn to ride a bike.
Fuel is necessary
Though there are electric cars new-energy cars now, most cars still run by fossil fuels. As the price of oil increasing, the oil saving on the earth is decreasing. Driving is not only costly but also polluted and harmful to the environment. And cycling does no harm to the environment.
The maintenance of a car is expensive
Not to mention the increasing price of oil, the maintenance of a car is costly enough. A car needs an entire exam every year. Every a couple months or weeks, it needs cleaning and waxing. If your car gets rub, it needs some extra repairing.
Plenty of space is needed to park a car
If you drive out, you always need to find a place to park. Most parking places charge for per hour. That’s an extra expense. But the most common fact is, one can’t find a place to park and just park it somewhere and finally get fined.
Driving is dangerous
That’s the most important disadvantage of driving. Every year, thousands of people died in car crash. Drunk-driving, fatigue driving, furious driving, careless driving can all cause one’s death or injury.
Driving may cause illness
Most taxi drivers suffer from lumbar disc protrusion, which is caused by sedentary habits.
Apparently, the advantages of cycling are much more than driving’s, but most people still choose to drive out. May it’s time for us to pause for a while and think about it thoroughly. Is it really necessary to drive to work? I saw some teachers in the college driving their cars to the classroom, while their home is just 2 kilometers away. Why can’t we cycle instead of driving?