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Bicycle Commuting This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


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I may not be a movie star, best-selling author, or billionaire when I grow up, but one thing I will be known for, at least locally, is commuting by bicycle. It's sad to see how few people do – even though many could. Lots of people recycle and avidly campaign for the reduction of greenhouse gasses, but by driving cars, they're still contributing to the problem.

You might be picturing me as an ­extreme environmentalist, but I'm not one of those teens who wear shirts that say “Tree hugger” or “Help save the world: Recycle.” Actually, my interest in exercise, health, and fitness led me to cycling.

Since then I have learned that while being good for your body, bicycle commuting is also a great way to cut greenhouse gasses. Many activists recycle, plant trees, and drive hybrid cars, but bicycle commuting could be even more effective than all of those combined. Instead of shaving off a few pounds of carbon dioxide emissions every year, you could cut hundreds of pounds of CO2 just by commuting by bicycle a few times a week.

You might be thinking, I don't have time for ­bicycle commuting. Actually, you probably do. You could cut back on your TV time and pick up this activity that helps you get fit, have fun, and care for the environment.

Bicycling is good for you. It can help you lose weight, since it works the two biggest muscles of your body, your quads and glutes. ­Bicycling improves your cardiovascular health, which can prevent many ­diseases and blood clots. Cycling burns calories and is a low-impact sport, meaning it carries a relatively low chance of stress injury, unlike running.

Bicycle commuting also saves money. When you buy your first road bike, helmet, and accessories, you might be shocked by the cost. But think about it this way: given fluctuating gas prices, you can save a significant amount each year by not driving a car.

Cycling is very sensible. You can get in shape, save money, and help fight greenhouse gas emissions, all during your commute. How's that for multitasking?

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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