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The War Against the Car and the War Against Diabetes

It may surprise my readers to know that I spent most of this weekend on a stationary bicycle. After all, I walk to work and use a bicycle for most of my shopping. Why would I want to spend even more time exercising?

I walk two miles each way two and from work. I bicycle every chance I get but I do not like to ride too far in the dark. Considering that I leave for work before dawn and do not get back until after dark, this cuts into my riding possibilities. All in all, I only seem to be walking and riding about twenty miles each in a typical week. That’s not even enough to stay in shape. So much for giving up my car being a lot of work and exertion.

I am training for some pretty big rides right now, including a century in May for The American Diabetes Association. To feel like I am even remotely prepared, I try to get in 80-100 miles of cycling every week. Thus the stationary bike for five or six hours per weekend.

I bring all of this up for a reason, of course. That reason, as you the reader have probably already guessed, is to hit you up for money. It may seem like Diabetes has no relation at all to an anti-car blog. A little thought, however, will quickly show that there is indeed a connection. The rate of diabetes is increasing dramatically in this country. In fact, as many as 40% of Americans will probably develop the disease over the course of their lives. Adult-onset diabetes is a symptom of America’s lazy, indulgent, energy wasteful lifestyle. Most people who developed diabetes are over-weight and out of shape…often because they have spent their whole lives driving cars when they should have been cycling or walking. Overuse of cars contributes to the diabetes epidemic. Take away the cars, and we will have less diabetes.

In the men time, while we work to eliminate private car ownership, the good people of the American Diabetes Association work to educate people about the disease and how to prevent it with exercise and a healthy diet. If you would like to support them, the best way is by sponsoring me in the Tour De Cure in may, which you can do here.

The added benefit is that every time we ride in a highly publicized 60 mile (100 km) ride, we have the chance to raise awareness of bicycling as long distance transportation. Next time someone tells me that five miles is too far to ride to work, I am going to point out “Five miles? I’m riding 60 miles for the American Diabetes Association”. See how that works?