A capital idea: Ride a bike

After spending a summer in Washington, D.C., I have come to realize something: We on the West Coast are far too dependent on our cars. West Coasters drive to the corner mart and the fast food restaurant around the block. In Washington, D.C., people walk or ride bikes everywhere. This is mainly out of necessity. Driving around the nation’s capital, with its one way streets, pedestrians, traffic, you name it, would be a complete disaster The idea isn’t bad—skip driving for a day and walk.

This is better for you in many ways. First off, it is better for your pocketbook. With gas at around $4.50 a gallon here in D.C., it makes more sense to put your own two legs to good use. And not only is it good for your pocketbook, but it’s good for your body as well. Great cardio exercise gets your blood flowing and keeps you in pretty good shape. An easy way to put in exercise time while doing something you have to do anyway, like going to work or school.

With our country full of out-of-shape people who are overweight and addicted to their fast food restaurants and cars, we need to alter the way we live. If the citizens of Reno hopped on a bicycle and rode to the McDonald’s instead of getting in their cars, they would burn some of the calories they are about to indulge in their Big Macs.

Because so many Americans are overweight and out of shape, the government finds new reasons to create new laws to regulate our behavior. And the citizens of this country make that easy for those legislators.

A man by the name of David Ludwig does research on obesity, and his study “raises concern that fast food could be an important cause of obesity.” Well, for lack of a better word here: duh. If one drives to his fast food restaurant of choice, inhales about 3,000 calories then goes back to his couch to watch T.V. day in and day out, he’s going to get fat. Obese, in fact—that’s just how it goes. But to blame fast food restaurants for this is ridiculous.

Creating legislation to limit the advertising for fast food restaurants to children is ludicrous. What we need is less government, not more. Our economy is in a slump, and the government discouraging sales in any sector of the economy is just bad business. Instead, legislators should step back and see where they don’t belong.

We don’t need the government in every aspect of our lives. It is as if we expect to be hand-fed everything by government hands. That’s a disturbing thought about a lazy nation. Stand up and make some choices in your life. You want a Big Mac, eat it. That is your choice. And it is your choice to be out of shape.

Or you could do something about it. That is the beauty of not depending on the government to make all of your choices for you. You get to make your own. A person can choose to be in shape. And that doesn’t mean they can’t eat unhealthful food, that just means if they do, they should exercise more. Like riding a bike to work.

I walk or ride a bike everywhere now, and I feel great. And I now I don’t “need” the government to tell me Big Macs are bad, because I can eat one and burn all the calories it contains. So hop on a bike, relieve your pocket book, and maybe even drop a few extra pounds, as well.