Bicycling the old tow path along New York State's Erie Canal. This view was taken in 1991 just east of Syracuse. On my 1991 trip across America I was impressed by the quality of roads in upstate New York. There were wide shoulders and many paths. Many people think of New York City when they think of New York, but upstate New York is quite rural. The east coast has a lot of history and has undergone much renovation. Highway construction signs in New York State would often read, "Rebuilding New York."
Scroll down for my comments on bike paths and health care costs.
From my letters to editors.
Promoting health; a form of "Social Darwinism" I like better
Good to see places start to plan for bicycles. People often ask how I have stayed slim and healthy over the years. I answer by saying I have never owned a car. Bicycling, walking, dancing and aerobics are all fun activities. They have all become an integral part of every day life for me. I don't have to plan a time for exercise. Exercise is just a by-product of a lifestyle of moderate activity.
There is an old phrase that says people want to eat their cake and have it to. In reality, most people want to eat their cake, but not have it around the middle. An active lifestyle is a good way to achieve this, much better than dieting.
Speaking of obesity, a lot of the fat in government and private companies is the cost of providing health care. Employee health plans, medicare and medicaid are big chunks of the cost of government. People are screaming for cutting the fat out of government. Possibly the best way to do that is to cut health care costs by getting people to exercise more. Bicycling is a great way to promote a healthier community.
Double Digit inflation
The debate between car drivers and bicyclists over who pays for our roads may become a mute point. Health insurance costs are rising so fast that no one will be able to afford roads before long. As the post war baby boomers age, we keep seeing headlines like, "double digit rise in health care premiums." These staggering figures could make most taxes look like pocket change. It doesn't matter whether it is gas taxes, or other kinds of taxes, the amount could be small compared to health insurance premiums. We can no longer afford to live in an unhealthy society. While aging is inevitable, lifestyle changes can have a big impact on one's health. Healthy lifestyles have positive affects that extend well into those later years of life.
Bicycle travel is a great way to get exercise. More cycling can mean a healthier society, but it is important for cyclists to ride carefully. Both bike and car safety are important. Small investments that we are willing to make for road safety can save huge sums in hospitalization. Encouraging cycling could significantly improve our population's health. Insurance premiums are based on average health costs for a group of policy holders and of course government costs go up paying the many bills for people who don't have insurance.
Promoting public health is in everyone's financial interest.
We should get out and enjoy the sunshine while we still have a chance before rising medical bills bankrupt everyone.
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