May 20, 2011
Gandhi once told us to be the change you wish to see in the world. This morning, people across the country became that change as they rode their pedal-powered bikes to work and bucked our oil-dependent, sedentary, and ecologically harmful car-commuter society.
Today, bikers came together to celebrate May 20th National Bike-to-Work Day. For some, this was their first time commuting via bike while others had been pedaling to work for years. Regardless, all cyclists benefited from getting outside, pumping the blood before work, and enjoying the camaraderie of fellow cyclists.
Here at CBF’s headquarters in Annapolis, we had a good crew of people ride their human-powered vehicles into work today. Luckily, the weather here was beautiful and there were plenty of people participating. As stewards and advocates of the Chesapeake, we were glad to see such a great turnout.
Most know that cars and trucks account for almost 30 percent of this country’s greenhouse gas emissions, which ultimately change our climate and raise the sea level around the globe, including that of the Chesapeake Bay. But what is less known is that the burning of fuel in our vehicles also adds a vast amount of nitrous oxides (NOx) to our atmosphere which enters our waterways via rain or snow. These nitrous oxides actually contribute about 22 percent of the nitrogen pollution getting into our Bay, which is the number one problem facing the Chesapeake. By riding their bikes today, cyclists kept that carbon and nitrogen from reaching the atmosphere, thereby helping us to save the Bay.
However, the benefits of substituting bikes for cars go well beyond the ecological. With conflict in the Middle East, disastrous oil spills, and peaking gas prices, people want alternatives to our petroleum-based transportation system, and for some that means bikes. In addition, biking means moving, and moving means burning calories. Burnt calories mean healthier, happier people and contracting waistlines. How’s that for being the change you wish to see?
All these benefits from simply hopping on that two-wheeled contraption in your garage. And you thought it was just for kids…
Take the pledge! Become a Cyclist for the Bay and help us save a national treasure!