In this fast-paced city of Manila, trucks, cars and motorcycles are roaming. Automobiles causes smoke belches that cannot be avoided. And in relation with these, the air that we are breathing mingles with the smog of the vehicles around it. Are we really going to snuffle this kind of air, or are we going to be the lungful pattern of saving Manila from the dark airborne these cars are instigating?
One of the key agent that can lessen the air struggle in the city is cycling. Cycling is one of the most popular outdoor activities worldwide. It is good for our health and well-being by improving our posture, lowering blood pressure, increasing flexibility and strength, and etc. It also reduces risk of depression, heart disease, obesity and osteoporosis. Aside from physical health benefits, it also enhances to stabilize our mental health. According to a long term study in Alameda Country, aerobic exercise reduces the risks of psychological problems as physical activity is an active anti-depressant. It also enables us to interact socially with the “cyclists” or community of co-bikers. In Philippines, there are diverse groups and organizations that shares the same passion and interest for cycling, including Philippine Cycling Network, Padyak PH and Crest Pursuit Manila. It gives us a sense of freedom and self-esteem as we practice the cycling lifestyle.
Moreover, it is also environmentally friendly as the mode of transport as it cuts down 1500 kg greenhouse gas emissions by just cycling 10 km to your destination. The average car produces about 1.3 billion cubic yards of polluted air within its lifespan. It would also significantly reduce the need for petroleum and pollutants such as hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide. Also, bikes do not use motor oil or batteries to work. Production of such items not only causes pollution, but also releases pollution into the air when in use or when disposed. Bikes do not present these kinds of problem and choosing to ride a bike instead of driving would be a very powerful way to reduce pollution. Lastly, parking spaces would also be conserved as 20 bicycles would fit in a space of single vehicle. By encouraging more people on their bikes, we could help minimize global climate change as it is one of the most critical environmental problem worldwide.
Another reason, manufacturing bikes will take less energy than the car does. Factories make use of energy to make products and these energy is also emitted into the air. Estimates show us that tons and tons of waste and about 1.2 billion cubic yards of pollution are produced for every car made. Also, paint used on cars adds about 40 million pounds of pollutants into the air. It would also remarkably save forests as there would be less need for rubbers in production of vehicles. When you choose a bike over a car, you are choosing an option that did not emit many pollutants when it was manufactured.
One of the advantages of cycling or becoming a road racer in Manila is its price. Because bikes or road race is cheaper than motorcycles or cars. In addition to that, bikes have only few materials to make that makes it convenient to fix whenever there is an encounter of a mechanical problem. Unlike with the cars or motorcycle, you have to consider all of the parts and visit to the professional repairman in order to fix the car or motorcycle. And because bikes don’t use any fuel as stated, it can be the best substitute to the hybrid cars that produces 14,000 pounds of carbon each. Thus, one bike can reduce the production of air pollution by 14,000 pounds of carbon a day.
Cycling have a bunch of advantages such as reducing the air pollution, traffic and reduce traffic accidents when there are fewer cars. Having a lot of benefits may deliver hazards and risk cycling outdoor that will put you at mercy of nature. Weather conditions is one of the hazards and risk. Adverse weather will detract even the most enthusiastic cyclist. This will also increase the risk of having an injury. Another risk will be the cyclist’s health because of the pollution that will come from the exhaust of the cars if intended to roam around traffic hours. Children are at the greatest risk because of children not following rules such as traffic rules wearing helmet, brightly colored shirts at morning and reflective vest at night.
As for now, a team called Crest Pursuit Manila is roving around the bright streets of Manila and at the edge bound of the city straight to Rizal’s heights. A group from ages 12 and above, they are the itinerants of earning clean air to seethe while being superb at the “Padyak Maynileno” advocacy.
The thought of cycling as an everyday thing that most of us either do now or have done in the past can be a great key to refreshing Manila’s lungs. If we can transform our towns and cities into safe and convenient places to bike, we will use less gas, become more fit, and reduce traffic congestion. This is the kind of world we all hope for.
An Advocacy by CIV151 Team Angels