Why Bike Riding Will Destroy the Environment

By The Second City | May 15, 2014

Friday, May 16th is National Bike to Work Day. While it might seem a lark, remember, it’s just a holiday, a once a year jolly, just as you should only go to work dressed as Dracula on Halloween and only use recycling bins on Earth Day.

I do not ride a bike. I drive a car that my parents bought me, like an adult. One’s primary means of transportation should not be sold in a toy store.

Not only do bike riders appear immature, but they hold onto the childish belief that routinely riding your bike is actually GOOD for the environment when all the hard science that I bothered to look at actually proves just the opposite. 

Here are 6 reasons why riding a bike is worse for Mother Gaia than 7 BP oil “spills*.”

*I prefer to think of them as free oil give aways.

Reason 1: The Emission Fallacy 

I will begrudgingly concede that cars give off carbon dioxide, but do you know what exhales Co2? People!

Every time you ride a bike, you are performing something called “exercise,” which causes your blood cells to use more oxygen and thus causes you to take in more of that sweet, precious clean air. 

Last I checked, my car doesn’t breathe (and I check pretty frequently, ever since I saw Maximum Overdrive). While my car is giving off carbon dioxide at what I can only assume is the same rate of your typical 3,200-lb person, it is not taking in any unspoiled oxygen. It doesn’t have our circulatory system. It just has a simple combustion engine! 

Reason 2: Bike Riding Consumes Resources

This “exercise” has other dangerous side effects for our planet. If you exercise more, you get healthier. If you get healthier, you live longer. If you live longer, you consume more resources. The average automobile commuter, on the other hand, responsibly drops dead from a heart attack at the age of 58.

The worst part is that these “bicyclists” (or “cyclists,” depending on their sexual orientation) not only consume more, they consume materials that are harder to replace. It can take months to grow kale, but a hot dog is fashioned in mere moments on an assembly line, using nothing but spare organs and imagination. 

The only thing preventing these  “homocyclists” from living forever is the likelihood of being hit by a car. You're welcome.

Reason 3: Bike Riders Ignore Advances in Technology

Science is constantly working to fix the mistakes that past science has made. 

While the bicycle has undergone minor cosmetic changes, it’s basically had the same design since it was invented 200 years ago— by the GERMANS! Cars are going through radical changes every day, so much so that if you drive the same car for more than four years, you look like an idiot. 

With every new piece of technology there comes a chance to create a cleaner/more efficient engine. Sure, the finest oil company scientists have proven that the electric car was a bust, but who can say what the future will bring? 

I can. I can say. The future will have us blasting off to the stars, and we won’t get there by pedaling. 

Reason 4: Bike Riding Silences Conversation

These new ideas for our planet have to come from somewhere. A car is basically a rolling Algonquin round table. A small metal box that forces people to converse with their fellow man, lest they be forced to listen to the banality of radio DJs. 

When my girlfriend and I are stuck in traffic for hours on end, we wrestle with such queries as, “Why aren’t we moving?” “Why is it so hot?” “What do you mean, this is my fault?” and “What do you mean, you want to see other people?”

On a bike, you are on your own. Just you and the open air, racing through the streets or park. What ideas have ever sprung from communing with nature?

Reason 5: International Examples

China has a lot of bike riders. How’s their environment doing?


Reason 6: Cycling Decreases Motivation to Change

Finally, let’s say cars are damaging the environment… 


The only way humanity is going to survive is if it becomes afraid to die. If it just gets a little warmer, what do we care? Our cars have air conditioning. But if it starts raining fire, we’ll probably finally do something about it. 

Bike riders are the people in the horror movie who are boarding up the windows. SUV drivers are the hot sexy counselors getting drunk and skinny dipping. The first will create a false sense of security, but the latter will get the monster to appear. 

Once you see the Hockey Mask of Mass Extinction on the horizon, that will get people to start running… but it would be faster if we drove. 

C.J. Tuor is a graduate of The Second City Conservatory and performs every Saturday night at 9 PM in the DeMaat Theatre with Moxie, A Second City Training Center Ensemble. C.J. will also be performing at The Annoyance Theatre in Hitch*Cocktails.

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