A number f cyclists advise that cycling can alleviate the chronic diseases and enhance the mental health. A research conducted by Eriksson et al (1998) suggest that physical fitness is the fundamental element to prevent people from death, especially chronic diseases such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and hyperglycemia (high cholesterol). Riding the bike as transport tool is beneficial to Hong Kong dwellers since it can utilize the time when they traveling home or office. Hong Kong has a different circumstance with other foreign countries which has short and maximum working hours.
So, most of the citizens are not able to exercise in daily time and this reason finally causes a high percentage of obesity problems and chronic diseases. In addition, Barton and Pretty (2010) believe that doing exercise in natural environments can improve self-esteem and mood and cycling have to ride across from one place to another area. Some places such as the New Territories, ATA Pop and Yen Long has many natural areas as well as green plants so riding bicycle in these districts enable the citizens to relax when doing exercise.
Low-carbon living is becoming a global trend and fashion in 21 centuries and this life can be sustained by riding bike instead of using motor vehicles. According to the Environmental Protection Department report (2012) reveals that road transport contributes 65% of carbon monoxide/dioxide, 27% of nitrogen oxide and 23% of volatile organic compound emission. The above pollutants will bring adverse effects to both human and environment. For instance, carbon monoxide is regarded as silent killer that may cause suffocation even only a small amount is inhaled.
Two-wheeler is a low-carbon transport since it does not require any fossil fuel or electricity to operate and therefore bicycle will not produce any pollutants. Also, the energy crisis will be a considerable issue in the future. A recent statistic conducted by BP Global (2014) suggests that the global fuel consumption is much more than that production. Therefore, riding bicycle as major transport may lower the energy demand in Hong Kong so that the Hong Kong government can sustain a low-carbon living for citizens.
However, cycling on busy roads may increase the danger for both bikers and vehicle drivers. Hurter et al (2007, cited in Follicles, 1 993) believe that “Long- term exposure to air pollutants have suggested an increased risk of chronic respiratory illness, cardiopulmonary mortality and of developing various types of cancer”. It is worth noting that the bikers will inhale much more air pollutants than vehicles drivers (Hurter et al, 2007) since the vehicle drivers seldom open the car window and the bikers expose all the time.
The cyclists ill continuously absorb the air pollutants which are emitted by motor vehicles and finally accumulate inside their body. Those pollutants will not harm human immediately, but bring lifelong effect. Additionally, the vehicle drivers are also in danger if promoting the bicycle as main transport. Although bicycle can legally walk on the road, Hong Kong lacks enough awareness to allow bikes traveling on the road. Many of the drivers have no expectation that someone will ride on the road so the drivers will easily ignore the cyclist and finally cause car crushing.
Despite the danger of riding on the main road, lack of facilities can be another problem of the promotion. According to the press releases of Hong Kong SARA government (201 2), this is not possible to build some new cycle tracks for bicycle users in the crowded area including Causeway Bay, Central as well as Mongo Kook. The Hong Kong government only planned to construct new cycle lane in Sheen Shush and Ma On Sham because she does not encourage the use of bicycle On busy area.
Therefore, the bikers are required to ride on the busy road and cause safety robbers. Also, lack of the government support will make the promotion difficult to achieve. Bicycle parking space is another challenge for the promotion since a parking space is necessary for bikers to place their bicycle and government seems to be reluctant to develop the parking system. Without the parking spaces, the users are expected to dismantle their bike into several parts and that may create another safety problem of their bike.
Considering the above arguments, I believe the bicycle should not be remoter as major transport in urban areas, but in a new town and new development area. Safety should have the first priority when promoting a new social behavior. The promotion may enhance the people one-side health and provide low-carbon but it also pose another-side safety problem and convenience concern. The reasons for not promoting bicycle oh;sigh the reason in favor of. To maintain a better living Hong Kong government can maximize the working hours and educate the employers so that the workers can enjoy their time and do exercise.