Growing up we didn't have cable TV. I remember turning that knob through the 12 different channels including channel U. I think that was the station we know as PBS. I remember walking to school everyday, and riding my bike for fun. We used to ride bikes everywhere. The grocery store was within walking distance, along with the bank.
The funny thing is that going back to basics could be quite easy, and much more enjoyable than people can imagine. This is probably why it isn't happening. No real leadership to help give people a vision of what their lives could be like.
Think about this for a minute. People spend countless hours in the gym. Running and walking to nowhere, lifting weights and for what purpose? Well, because we want to stay in shape. However, Americans today are fatter and more out of shape than ever before!
Most people live within walking, running, or biking distance to work. A rare exception are those who do not. This means within 15 miles. I can get to work and back riding my bike within 50 minutes. If I drive it takes me about 35 minutes to and from work. If I ran, then I could get to and from work in probably 2 1/2 hours in my current physical condition, however if I did this everyday I'm certain I could get it down to about 2 hours or less.
Of course, that would cut into a few companies business. Companies like restaurants and oil companies would lose revenues if enough people did this kind of thing. It would also require less maintenance on roads and cars.
Why do people not do this? I have come up with a few reasons.
- People feel riding bikes or running isn't safe
- Riding most bikes are uncomfortable
- You sweat, and would have to take a shower before working
- People don't want to get wet
- Too cold/hot
- Peer pressure (few people do it)
With my recumbent bike it takes care of a few of the reasons I came up with. The bike is comfortable. I could ride for miles without any aches and pains of a "normal" bike. In the morning I do not even break a sweat riding to work. The bike does most of the work. With the exception of hills, I'm practically just steering the bike.
If I were in charge of a city, I'd figure out a way to give incentives to ride, walk, and run to work and school. I can think of several ways to fund it. Getting several cars off the road would mean less money for maintaining the roads. Those people who ride should receive cash rewards for not using the roads. I'd also widen the berms and put a bike lane.
Tomorrow I'll be riding my bike to work for the first time this year. I hope to do this much more.