News flash! According to the CDC, one third of the US adult population is overweight or obese.
Ummm...excuse me, whaaat?!!! That's a shitload of humans! 1 in 3 and that's just the adult percentage. Sad to say, I see a lot of overweight kids too and that's just plain wrong. Something tells me that number isn't going away anytime soon and will more than likely grow.
Insert reality check here. We, as in humans, in the grand scheme, did not evolve into this yet surely brought it upon ourselves. So how the hell did that happen? Well, the way I see it, we have made things way too simple for ourselves. American culture is fueled by a sedentary lifestyle. Start with an ideology that if we have the ways and means for someone or something to do it for us (whatever 'it' is), we'll start throwing money. Especially when it comes to doing anything physical.
Let's break down an average day in 'Merica. Next time you're in a city, take a look at the skyscrapers and buildings and just think, those are all occupied by people that are more than likely sitting on their asses. But before they got into those offices, they were in a bus or driving in a car, while sitting on their asses. They then leave the office, go home and sit on their asses some more. Which brings up another stat. The average household has 2.24 tv's. On those tv's are hundreds of channels put out by networks that want nothing more than people to sprawl out on the couch and stare for as long as possible! Programming is the key word here folks. Now think about everything we can order and have delivered to our door via the internet, which is virtually anything and you'll start to see our need to actually move around is slowly decreasing. Compile all this with the processed garbage that's eaten and it's a recipe for total disaster. Disney's Wall•E made a poignant statement about where we could be heading, a land of push button fatties hovering around on barcaloungers waiting for the Diabetes to kick in.
Alright, alright, I digress, what did that little tirade have to do with the bike? Because, simply put, a bike might be the antidote to all of that. Yes, by itself, it's a bunch of components and welds. But, put a human on it and it becomes so much more. In fact, it's been said that the most efficient animal on earth in terms of weight transported over distance for energy expended, is a human on a bicycle; and the most efficient machine on earth in terms of weight transported over distance for energy expended is a human on a bicycle. It's a marvelous piece of technology that requires human effort to work. There is no button to push, key to turn or throttle to twist. The human body is the powerplant! Not surprisingly, there have been attempts to lazify this as well with the introduction of the electric bike, which is ridiculous; I personally think that if you feel you need to get an electric bike, you need to pedal harder and more often.
Listen, I'm not going to say that the bike is a end all cure to society's weight issues, but it's as good a place to start than any. Experiences I've had while out riding, either alone or with a group of friends, rival anything I've experienced on a couch, (with the exception of sex) and I have a sense that I'm doing something positive for my mental and physical health. On top of all that, it's exhilerating to know the rewards reaped are based solely off the effort put in.