Monthly Archives: February 2023

The bike footprint

Protecting the environment is urgent and challenging for human beings as numerous international administrations have been demonstrating, although there are still some dumb who denied it. Some firms are taken it seriously by doing specific actions, changing processes, looking for green providers, etc., while some others practice the greenwashing in order to try their customers believe they are green. What is important is not words or advertising, what really matters is deeds.

If we take into account the whole lifecycle of a bike, that way of transport contaminates even if we consider a traditional bicycle (ebikes pollute more). Think in the raw materials it needs, the industrial processes, logistics and so on. However, some companies are taking steps to fight against climate change. Trek Bicycle is implementing actions to diminish their footprint. Firstly, they hire a consultant firm to know its carbon footprint at worldwide level: 300,000 tonnes of CO2 yearly. They discovered that pedaling 692 km in bike instead of in car compensates the carbon footprint of that bicycle. Secondly, once knowing these figures they cudgeled their brains and determined the 10 commandment of sustainability:

  • Get bigger the use of bicycles

  • Increase shared bicycles

  • Ban plastic in packaging

  • Build and protect new environmentally friendly paths

  • Create production factories with zero residues

  • Augment the use of alternative, green materials

  • Reduce the business trips

  • Boom the use of renewable energies

  • Group deliveries to stores

  • Diminish the use of airplane

From a firm point of view, I would personally add additional points like use green materials like wood, or recycled ones. Finally, public organizations and governments should strain to create and improve bike infrastructures.

Shimanami Kaido

Is there a place in which you can cross a see without stopping pedaling? Yes, there is at least one with an amazing infrastructure which allows it. Concretely, it is located in Japan and the inner see is called Seto. Throughout 70 km and 8 islands, you can enjoy impressive landscapes and the local culture. It was inaugurated in 1979 and connects the island of Honshu, which contains Tokyo among other cities, on the North with Shikoku on the South. The path crosses other islands (Mukaishima, Innoshima, Ikuchi, Omi, Hakata and Oshima) in between.

In some places bicycles share space with cars in wide, two-way, physically separated lines whereas in others exclusive sections for bikes make happy bikers. Other dedicated infrastructures like access ramps complete the bike like.

But pedaling is not the only pleasure of these islands. Cycle-tourists also appreciate nature and Japanese cuisine and they sometimes opt for spending days in deep knowing every island they ride on by spending time contemplating the docks and orchard fields.

Some tips:

  • You can make the Shimanami Kaido with your own bicycle or you can hire one in the cities of Onomichi or Imabari since both are tourist oriented

  • Moreover, there is a shared bike service between islands called Shinamami Rental Bike

  • As it comes to weather, the Winter is really cold and windy. Summer is warm and humid, and typhoons should appear at the end of August and in September. Thus, Spring and Autumn are the most interesting seasons in which to pedal the Shimanami Kaido

  • Be aware of the train Japanese law if you need to use this way of transport

  • If you want something livelier, try the Cycling Shimanami. The organization proposes a non-competitive ride from 30 to 140 km in which thousands of people pedal as a mass. 7,000 people was the limit of the last edition back on the October 30, 2022