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‘Riding a bike can help to boost your bowels’ (Roundup)

by Ted Johnson

Ronald Regan on a BikeWhile preparing my post, “Bicycle Hymn of the Republicans,” I was referred to Kathryn Reid Moore of the South Florida Bicycle Coalition. We spoke on the phone, and it turned out she was working on a similarly themed post for Streetsblog.

Cost reductions, profit margins and jobs creation are what rally the Republican Party and in all of these areas, bicycling really shines. Streetsblog readers know that bicycling infrastructure has a far greater return on investment than a typical car-specific roadway. Even if you take away the “associated” benefits (health, increased public safety, etc), cyclists require less space and cause a fraction of the costly wear and tear that their motored counterparts do to asphalt.

This helped motivate the new Republican chair of the Transportation Committee, Rep. John Mica, to concede bicycles’ right to the road and promise a place for this mode in a new transportation bill. In Mica’s home state of Florida, there are more than 1,000 bicycle retailers and dealers, employing almost 5,000 Floridians, with gross revenues approaching $400 million. And all of these numbers are growing. … Think those bike shop owners are all Democrats? Think again!

What I find refreshing about this perspective is that it sounds so realistic–unlike the selective libertarianism of some on the right (e.g. Tea Party types) who really don’t like the Federal funding that they don’t like. Hell, aren’t we all selective libertarians? I don’t like the Federal funding that I don’t like either.

A pure libertarian wouldn’t want Federal spending on anything other than defense–if that. I respect that position for its philosophical consistency, but it’s wildly Utopian and does not reflect the American political reality.

The reality is that this Congress will have to pass a transportation bill. It will largely be car-centric. Just how car-centric it will be will likely depend on the voices from the rational right–such as Moore’s–being heard.

Commute By Bike

Flax

Flax | Photo: Flickr user bdearth

Let’s set aside politics and discuss something more pleasant: poo.

In my post on the Schwinn Vestige bike made with flax, I subtly and indirectly referred to gastroenterological health. Minutes after publishing that piece, I read this on i b i k e l o n d o n:

101 reasons to love cycling in London #30; it makes you poo better!

You heard it here first; cycling makes your poo nicer. Or rather, riding a bike can help to boost your bowels. “Physical activity helps decrease the time it takes food to move through the large intestine, limiting the amount of water absorbed back into your body and leaving you with softer stools, which are easier to pass,” explains Harley Street gastroenterologist Dr Ana Raimundo.

What? A crude American being more subtle than a Brit blogger? It won’t happen again.

Commute By Bike

Yesterday the Bicycle Film Festival kicked off in Miami.

The BFF was started by Brendt Barbur after his infamous bicycle accident with a bus in New York over 10 years ago.

The BFF has expanded from its beginnings in New York to include 40 stops from Tokyo to Sydney to London worldwide.

In these last ten years the BFF has given the bicycle movement a venue to make, show and celebrate their movies and art.

This video is a compilation of clips from the best bike films of the last ten years:

Commute By Bike

Wandertec, Inc. Bike Friendly Business SealWandertec, Inc., the publisher of Commute by Bike–payer of my paychecks–won a Bronze Level award as a Bike Friendly Business last week from the League of American Bicyclists.

Our DC-based author, Stacey Moses, let me know that her employer, Revolution Cycles, won “a different level.” I met Stacey for the first time last week, so I can’t say I know her that well. But I think that was her tactful way of saying, Neener neener! We got Gold!

Game on, Stacey! We just wrote a big check to our local cycling organization to support Bike to Work Week. We’re introducing a fleet of e-bikes for employees to demo. We’re building covered and locked bike parking for employees. And we’ve got other top-secret bike-friendly initiatives underway that I’m not going to tell you about right now.

Watch your back, Revolution.

 
Burley nomad 229

6 Responses to “‘Riding a bike can help to boost your bowels’ (Roundup)”

  1. JaimeRoberto says:

    I still don’t understand why you think the Feds should be paying for local bike paths. Why shouldn’t this be a state or local issue?

    The feds built the interstate system under the guise of national defense, and while I doubt we’ll be invaded anytime soon, I do think the interstates serve a useful civil defense purpose, e.g. getting people out of New Orleans, or potentially getting relief to California cities in the event of an earthquake. Therefore, they should be paid for by the Feds.

    City streets and country highways should be funded by the states, and I would include bike paths and shoulders for bike lanes in this bucket.

    Either way, the money for these transportation projects should be paid for by the gas tax. If gas taxes aren’t high enough to cover the cost of building and maintaining the roads, then they should be raised. The people using the roads should pay for them.

  2. Thomas Bowden says:

    Ted – just a couple of questions – What’s a Harley Street gastroenterologist? Is that like a Harley off-road gastroenterologist, but with skinny wheels? And since when did Harley introduce its own line of gastroenterologists? Looks like they got the jump on Honda, for now.

    • Ted Johnson says:

      Honda gastroenterologists are more reliable and cost half as much as Harley gastroenterologists. Moreover, they’re quieter, which important to me in a gastroenterologist. Why people would pay more for that thwap-thwap-thwap sound is a mystery to me.

  3. matt says:

    the article by Kathryn Moore rocks. conservatives are cyclists too, and it’s OK for cycling to be an end in itself, not just a path to some eco-end

  4. Ted Johnson says:

    Clarification: By “Watch your back, Revolution” what I mean is, “Congratulations, Revolution!”

  5. Stacey Moses says:

    Hmm… I may have been displaying a small smirk when the topic of BFB awards came up. I’m really proud to be a part of an organization that is committed to being bicycle friendly, both internally and externally. And, if we inspire/provoke partners and/or competitors to be more bicycle friendly by winning gold (and maybe bragging about it a little bit), then yes, game on. One committed company can definitely make a difference, but we really need communities of businesses and residents on board to shift the way that we think about transportation and about building healthy, sustainable living spaces.

    I’ll accept your congratulations, nevertheless.

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