Christchurch student, 15 year old Finn Jackson from Christchurch’s Rudolf Steiner School did work experience in the Christchurch Green MPs office recently. Here’s his take on cycling in the city:
Cycling-What first comes to mind when you think of it? Aches and pains, too close an encounter with cars? Collapsing and crashing? Or how about summer days, biking to the beach with friends or the thrill of your first bike ride? For many people, cycling is not cool; it’s associated with hard work, getting sweaty, getting hit by a truck or being scorned by former friends.
But cycling can be fun and enjoyable. It can be free transport to and from school, uni or work, it can keep up fitness levels, or just recreation – going for a ride in the country or wherever and enjoying the sights.
Whatever way you look at it, there are at least three things that are proven about those who cycle:
1) They’re helping the environment. Through not using a car, they are reducing their carbon footprint. It may not sound like much, but every bit helps.
2) These people are less reliant on cars and fossil fuels, as they have a reliable means of transport which is not petrol fueled. Just think of the money you could have saved over the years by owning a bicycle.
3) These people are fitter than your average couch potato who drives everywhere and leaves empty chip packets in their wake. And fitter people are usually happier people, so there’s really not much to lose from getting out there and doing some biking (apart from some surplus stomach fat, of course).
And what have you really got to lose by getting out there and cycling? Respect? No. People will respect you a whole lot more if they see you are taking steps to turn your life around.
Sore legs=Fitter legs. So what if they hurt a little bit? Would Edmund Hillary have got to the top of Mt Everest if he stopped every time his legs got sore? Probably not. Would Usain Bolt have become the world’s fastest man if he’d stopped every time his ankle hurt? Of course not! People do not just give up because of a small pain in the finger – unless you were in my lower school hockey team, in which case nearly everyone did but my old hockey team isn’t the subject, it’s cycling.
Are you an environmentalist? Do you eat organic and recycle everything you can? Then take it one step further! Don’t just recycle, cycle. Help the environment. Whenever you can, cycle and recycle.