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May 08, 2012


Eh, the framing is iffy on Kreider's piece and assigns to bicycling a label it doesn't really deserve. Remember, historically 40,000 people a year die as a result of driving automobiles. Bicycling at first may feel subjectively less safe, but in aggregate it offers health benefits and a smaller risk to mortality than driving.

In one study Dutch researchers found,

"For individuals who shift from car to bicycle, we estimated that beneficial effects of increased physical activity are substantially larger (3–14 months gained) than the potential mortality effect of increased inhaled air pollution doses (0.8–40 days lost) and the increase in traffic accidents (5–9 days lost). Societal benefits are even larger because of a modest reduction in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and traffic accidents.

Conclusions: On average, the estimated health benefits of cycling were substantially larger than the risks relative to car driving for individuals shifting their mode of transport."

Study here -

Though I certainly agree with Krieder that biking is often relaxing - if not for precisely the same reasons (and of course, Salem' not NYC).

I have been scared surfing lots of times especially when caught inside with a big set rolling in. Also when paddling into and taking off on a big wave. Usually the fear transformed into focus and exhilaration but sometimes I was scared until I was sure I had made the wave. I sometimes was damn scared if I didn't make the wave and was being swept over the falls into two feet of water over a coral reef like at Acid Drop on Kauai (near Poipu).

The scariest place I surfed was the Tijuana Sloughs near the Mexican border. This place is bizarre with swirling rip currents and an erie vibe. The waves break so far from shore you can't see it and on a big, cold overcast day it can be freaky with the added bonus of raw sewage in the water from the Tijuana River (Mexico's gift to the U.S.--their sewage problem) and waves coming unpredictably out of nowhere from different directions.

So, sometimes risky activities can be fearful... at least for me.

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