One of the main claims in the less developed countries regarding bikes and sustainable mobility is that bicycles should pay a road tax. This usually comes from scared car drivers who see how the bicycle trend takes car lines and transform them into bike lines. Or also how pacification of traffic does not allow them to drive so fast and consequently force them to fulfill the traffic law. This anger scream represents the loss of a false liberty in essence.
Today I am going to focus on the proposition of road tax for bicycles. Why does road tax apply to cars? Because of the negative impacts it has on society. Cars occupy too much space in streets. Approximately, one car has the same surface as eight bicycles. It also impacts negatively on the pavement as one ton (2,204 pounds) machines passing on by thousands or even millions every year on the same streets cause wear in impressive magnitude. Compare this fact with the usual weight of bikes 10-15 kg (22 – 33 pounds) or even less if the frame is made of carbon fiber. Furthermore, road tax is also paid as a result of all the diseases and health problems the poison of exhaust pipes expels. It would not be fair if all the people pay for problems caused by a fraction of the whole population. Not to mention the deaths car causes because of car accidents.
To sum up, it would be a nonsense if bicycles pay the road tax as they do not provoke as many problems as cars do.
Biking has been define as a good way of practicing aerobic sport. This type of exercise allows burning calories and avoids what the WHO has defined as the pandemic of the XXI century: Obesity. This disease provokes a lot of cardiovascular problems, among others. Its mechanism is simple, if you eat more calories than you burn, you gain weight. Conversely, if you burn more calories than you eat, you lose weight. The fact of riding helps you to lose weight as well as to enjoy the environment and relax yourself. It also avoids injuries which can be produced in other aerobic sports like running. So it makes up for the sedentary life we live, the TV, seated or playing video games hours we spend.
Biking is considered a valuable sport since it protects your heart. This aerobic way of moving improves your health because it helps oxygenated blood to be pumped by the heart to deliver oxygen to the working muscles, mainly those in your lower part in your body. For this reason it forms part of the “cardio-sports” which improve your cardiovascular fitness. Another characteristic is that it benefices your muscle formation and toning. Also, by practicing it regularly your life-years are increased (wow!) (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/?term=10.1289/ehp.0901747) as well as you better your mental health (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17314466?ordinalpos=2&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum) and your immune system (http://familyonbikes.org/blog/2011/06/the-health-benefits-of-cycling/). Moreover, you coordination improves as your are constantly moving both your legs and your hands. There is no need to spent hours and hours on the bike to feel its benefices, just a few minutes. Nevertheless, aerobic exercises such as biking can become anaerobic if performed at a too high intensity level.