Corporate Social Responsibility writer for Justmeans, Antonio Pasolini is a journalist based in Brazil who writes about alternative energy, green living and sustainability. He also edits Energyrefuge.com, a top web destination for news and comment on renewable energy and Elpis.org, a recycled paper bag/magazine distributed from health food stores in London, formerly his hometown for over a decade....
Pedaling Our Way To Sustainability
Getting around on a bicycle for work and for leisure is one of the best ways to keep fit and avoid carbon emissions. Fortunately, an increasing number of cities are working to make their streets more bike-friendly with the construction of safe lanes and bike hire schemes, like the successful model implemented in London and Brisbane.
Educating people about the benefits of cycling, and stimulating them to engage with it after decades of automobile indoctrination, is a necessity. That's where the ongoing National Bike Challenge comes in, or better, rides in. Running through August 31, the Challenge is a nationwide initiative to get Americans inspired to saddle up and ride their bikes everywhere and improve their health. The overall goal is to involve 50,000 people and reach 10 million miles worth of cycling.
The online competition is sponsored by the Kimberly-Clark Corporation, League of American Bicyclists, Endomondo and Bikes Belong. Up to this point, participants from all 50 states have collectively burned more than 250 million calories. More than 300 riders have won prizes in the monthly drawings, including new bikes from Trek and Specialized, and the organizers say many new friendships have developed on the social networks provided by the Challenge.
One of the participants is Denver resident Amy Schiebel, who started riding three years ago and it has become a daily activity for her. "Getting on a bike in the morning not only wakes me up, but puts me in a better mood. Then, riding home after work, it relaxes me to feel the wind through my hair and on my skin. Losing close to 40 pounds over the past few years - most of it due to biking - motivates me to keep going," she said.
Even though the Challenge has been under way since May, there's still time to join the fun, and start logging the miles covered on two wheels. The organizers have designed an application for smartphone users so they can log their miles on the go. Need some further persuading? At the time of writing this post, 30,133 riders had taken up the challenge, spread across 2,666 teams. 16,909,336 miles had been covered, 266,826,774 calories had been burned and 4,362, 609 kilos of carbon had been prevented. Sounds like a fun way to do good, to the planet and to yourself.
Image credit: League of American Bicyclists