Car travel unhealthy

As I struggle with a cold I no doubt picked up on my flight to Melbourne last weekend I present to you more research that suggests how unhealthy modern vehicles are. Of course, I snickered with relish when I read this:

Travelling in a car with a person infected with the flu can mean your chance of getting sick is up to 99.9 per cent, a study from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) shows.

Cars are unhealthy environments. You can read the full report here.

I had a doctor who I know and trust tell me recently that cycling was dangerous because I was sucking down too much pollution due to my higher respiration rate. It would be ironic if the only way to avoid killing yourself with noxious car fumes was to seal yourself in a car (only to catch flu from your companion). Truth is it’s complete rubbish about the pollution, especially here on the Gold Coast where we  have such lovely air. I couldn’t help but reflect on her words two days later when I was stuck in traffic behind some old piece of shit car that was pumping fumes directly into my car and filling the whole vehicle with a cloying carcinogenic fug. Had I been on a bike I doubt I would choose to position myself directly in line with a vehicle’s exhaust pipe. Had I been on a bike I doubt I would choose to be in traffic at all, there being perfectly good alternatives for most routes.

(Cars, the healthy alternative.)

My doctor friend quoted some research that a learned college had presented at a conference and I politely deferred to her knowledge even though I knew better. I may be smug in my knowledge (or willing to wallow in my ignorance) but for your benefit I did a quick google and came up with this report:

Really, only someone who had never ridden a bike could ever believe that cycling was unhealthy. The problem is, they’re just the sort of people who inform our transport and community policies. Many people who didn’t know better would certainly believe a trusted doctor who advised them not to ride for health reasons. Thankfully you and me aren’t among their number.
(An example of some unhealthy behavior. Or just an excuse to include some eye-candy. Or a sly reference to my previous blog: note the belt drive. You decide.)

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