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Will the bicycle help us address pressing social issues?

Will the bicycle help us address pressing social issues?

by Lyndsay M.c. Hayhurst, Brad Millington, Brian Wilson, Jeanette Steinmann, Jessica Nachman and Mitchell McSweeney, The Conversation Soroti, Uganda. Credit: hutterstock World Bicycle Day is…

Thursday, Jun 02

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by Lyndsay M.c. Hayhurst, Brad Millington, Brian Wilson, Jeanette Steinmann, Jessica Nachman and Mitchell McSweeney, The Conversation Soroti, Uganda. Credit: hutterstock World Bicycle Day is celebrated on June 3 in support of the idea that bicycles "contribute to cleaner air and less congestion and makes education, health care and other social services more accessible to the most vulnerable populations."

The bicycle plays a massive role in physical activity. This was especially evident during the pandemic, as bicycle purchases skyrocketed . Amid lockdown measures, cycling remained a crucial alternative to public transportation, while offering the benefit of outdoor and socially distanced physical activity. But even before the pandemic started , people’s interest in bikes was growing.

Cycling could be the answer to more than just our physical activity and pandemic woes. It could offer public officials a way to address convergent crises in public health, transportation and climate. At the same time, increased bicycle use can generate new economic opportunities , like offering low-cost bicycles for sustainable transport and mechanical training to local communities to create jobs.

And as gas prices continue to rise due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, governments are urging citizens to consider the bicycle . What’s clear is that the bicycle’s capacity to respond to pressing social issues has inspired both intrigue and optimism, especially in the context of COVID-19.

Bicycles for development

We are a group of researchers interested in the social and environmental dimensions of sport, physical activity and health with a focus—for the work described […]

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