Photo: Ian Thomas Ash - Tokyo, Japan

Photo: Ian Thomas Ash – Tokyo, Japan

Did you know that May is Go By Bike Month and Bike Safety Month? When many of us think about riding a bike in this country we think about it in a recreational sense. Yet the bicycle can really address a lot of the issues of our country such as dependence on oil, traffic congestion and the increasing obesity epidemic in both young and old. Have you thought about replacing a few of your trips by car by using you bicycle? This is one of my favorite statistics; 40% of all trips are within two miles of the home. Initially maybe a little hard to believe, but then stop and think about it, it is realistic. I bet you can ride your bicycle for two miles. Which of these trips could you use your bike instead of your car? Taking your children to and from school, sports practices, trip to the store for those few eggs that you need? How about the trip to the local hardware store for that one item you need to complete your project? Could you ride to work once or twice a month?

In 1964, 50% of kids rode to school and the obesity rate was 12%…in 2004, 3%rode to school and the obesity rate was 45%. That is a huge change and the trend isn’t changing. Between 1960 and today the average weight of a 6-11 year old has increased 11 pounds. Another statistic; the average adult gains two pounds a year. Small changes in your family’s lifestyle and habits can lead to large improvements in your family’s health.

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