I periodically look through social media for some light entertainment, even though I usually think it's a complete waste of time. I like watching short videos about comedy acts, magic tricks, and anything thought-provoking. So, when I came across a post titled "Bicycle is the Slow Death of the Planet", I was immediately curious, especially since I enjoy riding my bike.
This post has gone viral on social media and online biking forums, where it has received more than 134k interactions and 6,595 comments. I'll share it with you below, along with a couple of my favorite reader responses, in case you haven't seen it yet. Then I’ll discuss my thoughts on it.
Bicycle Is The Slow Death Of The Planet
A banker made the economists think this when he said:
“A cyclist is a disaster for the country’s economy: he doesn’t buy cars and doesn’t borrow money to buy. He doesn't pay insurance policies. Doesn't buy fuel, doesn't pay to have the car serviced, and no repairs are needed. He doesn't use paid parking. Doesn't cause any major accidents. He has no need for multi-lane highways. He is not getting obese. Healthy people are not necessary or useful to the economy. They are not buying medicine. They don't go to hospitals or doctors. They add nothing to the country's GDP. On the contrary, each new McDonald’s store creates at least 30 jobs—actually 10 cardiologists, 10 dentists, 10 dietitians, and nutritionists—obviously as well as the people who work in the store itself.”
Choose wisely: a bike or a McDonald's? It's something to think about.~ Emeric Sillo
PS: walking is even worse. Pedestrians don't even buy a bicycle!
*Originally posted by Jessica Maria Dwyer on LinkedIn
“The bicycle allows us to reallocate our resources much more sustainably, say for healthcare, poverty reduction, and for other positive results while still maintaining a strong GDP that does not include economic costs of environmental degradation.”
"Don't pay to have the car serviced, and no repairs needed." Are you kidding? Have you brought a modern bike in for an annual tune-up lately? Old-style bikes could be serviced by a kid with a few wrenches, some oil and grease, and a tire patch kit. (I know that because I was the kid once upon a time). Not anymore.”
“And they complain about the roads they don't pay for, don't recognize stop signs, ride on the wrong side of the road sometimes two or three side by side.”
“As a keen cyclist, this was a good read. Like many other cyclists, I thankfully enjoy good health - mentally and physically -thus not a burden on the NHS like many people the same age as me. Good health is priceless. And like many cyclists, we support local - often independent - cafes; B&B's for cycle trips away; have bike service by local mechanics, produce no noise or air pollution- oh I do love to ride my bicycle!!”
“This is so stupid, I sure as hell don't just burn all the money I save on not having a car. I eat good food, drink wine, and buy steam games for all of that money instead.”
“Never bought a car, chose to live in the center of town, using the same 20y bike, living in flat Flanders, and using public transport to go elsewhere… Great savings…
And happy ”
“I challenge all the negative ppl to put more miles on a bike than their car for 12 months. It’s life changing.”
To Bike Or Not To Bike Discussion
I highly doubt any meaningful research went into the writer's findings, so I'm not sure if this post was intended as a joke or a profound observation. Nevertheless, the idea of using our bodies and minds rather than relying entirely on technology deserves a serious conversation.
As an entrepreneur, I value capitalism and everything about the challenge of creating goods and the buying and selling that goes along with that effort. I also realize that certain technological advancements have made many tasks easier and, in some cases, possible.
However, there are downsides to our high-tech society. Some examples include that many individuals have an increased risk of health issues due to leading sedentary lifestyles since technology has replaced their more arduous tasks.
In addition, many of us have become enslaved by our gadgets and don't know how to perform simple tasks without the help of technology. Can you imagine being unable to Google the answer to a question that's bugging you? Or take a road trip across the United States without GPS guidance?
With that said, the idea of giving up our cars and riding bikes instead isn't the craziest idea. After all, bikes are the primary mode of transportation in many countries around the world. And returning to nature could be a positive shift in the right direction for many of us.
Riding a bike to work instead of driving a car can benefit us physically, mentally, and even financially, especially considering the current gas prices!
I try to ride my bike for exercise a couple of times each week and occasionally ride it to the store to pick up a few things that will fit into the basket on my bike. I find it rewarding to accomplish the task of getting from point A to point B without spending a single dime on gas. Plus, sweating and burning calories make me feel good.
Fresh air and wind in your face can do wonders for your general attitude. Try it sometime!
In closing, this post could also pose the question of who we’re really investing in.
Are we investing in ourselves by making lifestyle choices that improve our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being? Or are we trading our health for convenience and ease while simultaneously making other businesses richer?
It's something to think about…