We often hear that bicycles are good for the environment because they produce zero emissions and are energy efficient. But what exactly does this mean? Over many years, bicycles have been praised for creating environmentally sustainable cities. For example, the amount of energy needed to produce a bicycle is very small compared to what is needed for production of other transport methods. For example, production of a regular car takes 118,284,466,000 Joules of energy compared to only 11,546,658,000 needed to manufacture a 7kg road bicycle with a carbon frame.
What about the construction of bicycle networks? In fact, the construction of bike lanes requires minimal foundations, smaller amounts of space, and less energy than roads for automobiles. Other major contributions that the bicycle brings to the environment is improved air quality in urban areas. Pollution is not just about emissions. Noise levels can also be considered pollutants. Exposure to noise can lead to an increase in stress related hormones such as adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol. In turn, high and excessive exposure to noise levels has been associated with long term health issues. So, a urban areas which rely more on bicycles as a transportation method will consequently emit less carbon, require less energy, and make less noise.