Friday, July 23, 2010

Biking....and sitting on your ass.

I am not sure if this little news blurb slipped past you this week, but if it did, I have actually had conversations with a number of people regarding the findings. The study followed people for 13 years and discovered that sitting for long periods of time actually has a negative effect on your long-term health. Your saying to yourself right shit Sherlock, you mean if I sit on my ever expanding fat American butt I might die early, I am shocked. That was pretty much my thoughts as well.........then came the shocking part of this study. If you spent more time sitting, EVEN if you had a normal workout schedule, you were still more likely to have major health problems then those individuals who didn't spend as much time on their butts. This got me thinking about all of those people with a job spent sitting at a desk in front of a computer screen. Thankfully my job involves lots of moving around and I rarely spend more then 15 minutes sitting before having to rush out to solve the latest mystery of who has been writing swear words on the bathroom walls or who has decided to poop in the urinal instead of the toilet (anybody who also works in a school knows this happens more then you would think - ever time this happens I just laugh to myself at what that would actually look like if somebody walked in on the phantom pooper).

As many of you know, I harbor an unhealthy (or after this study, a healthy) obsession with all things European, if I was being more specific, Northern European and Scandinavian life, from the Dutch and German obsession for football, to the design aesthetic and simplified living style of Scandinavia, and especially the robust bike cultures in all of these areas. I saw this video by Streetfilm and then proceeded to spend the next 3 hours wishing I lived in a place like Copenhagen. Then this morning, I was reading about the price of gas around the world, and realized why people in Copenhagen are always on their bikes (or public transportation), if I wanted to put 16 gallons in the 'ol Pilot (or minivan - to whom that may apply) it would cost me about $110. That would make me pick up a bike pretty darn quick, it would also force me to look at where I live in relation to my work. I have considered riding my bike to work at least once per week, but there literally isn't a path I could take that wouldn't require at least 3 miles of unprotected (translation - no shoulder) highway riding. At this point in my life, I am not willing to place my life at risk just to ride my bike to work.

Therein lies the dilemma, do I die young because I sit on my butt during the day, or do I die because I get run over by a truck carrying 3 tons of fill gravel. From all appearances, the people of Copenhagen, don't have to worry about getting run over by a gravel truck.

Just this week, London began a project to create "Bike SuperHighways" from all parts of the metro area, which lead downtown. I also like this idea, but if you don't work downtown this particular plan would not be as beneficial.

All of this bike talk has me lusting after a couple of bikes, and here are a couple of my favorites.
The Public D3 with its orange paint job would fit be a perfect fit in Amsterdam or Austin as the description from the website points out - The PUBLIC D3 is an easy-shifting three-speed bike adequate for most cities or topographies where steep hills or strong headwinds are not a part of the daily riding, i.e. suitable for New York or Austin.
This is the description from the website for the BF18 cargo bike - The BF18 is car free family transport at the height of its evolution. Take your kids to Tee-Ball practice and stop to pick-up their little teammates on your way. Drop them off and head to the park for some Frisbee with the family pup or go shopping, and don’t be shy about loading up! Rain or shine, the BF18’s comfort, stability and safety will open up your world to the joys of a truly car free family lifestyle.

No comments: