Stop breathing while you‘re cycling! Otherwise you´ll destroy the planet! Sounds weird and a bit stupid, right?
According to Ed Orcutt, an American lawmaker, cycling is bad for the environment, but the question is why? “A cyclist has an increased heart rate and respiration, meaning that the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from riders and since CO2 is a greenhouse gas cyclists are actually polluting when they ride,“ (taken from an e-mail Orcutt wrote to Dale Carlson, the owner of a local bike shop in Washington).
Is this a joke or a serious discussion worth having? Ed Orcutt also believes cyclists should be taxed to use the roads and wrote that, “Currently motorists are paying to use their cars on the roads, so if cars pay for the roads they are using, it only makes sense that cyclists would also be required to pay for the roads they use when they are actually biking on them”. The sad part is, Orcutt made no analysis of the difference between CO2 emissions from cyclists versus cars.
Although Orcutt is absolutely right when stating that, “You can’t simply say that there’s no pollution as a result of riding a bicycle”, but should we then consider measuring cyclists sweat, spit and even flatulence emissions?!? Surely riders aren‘t breathing much more than a driver, who parks their vehicle and then climbs up some stairs, leading to the question, what’s next? Shall we tax everyone on the roads like parents pushing heavy strollers, athletes in training or even the heavy-breathing elderly?
Finally, it must be noted that the statement regarding people who bike around don’t pay for the roads is demonstrably untrue. Most of the roads people bike on are paid for by state governments and municipalities. Nearly all of the rest comes from sources, let’s say taxes, everybody pays for, no matter how they get around. In short, take a deep breath and keep on pedaling!
Txt: Honza Hanzlík