Even in the absence of data, charts and studies, at some basic level we all know that health-wise, broccoli is better than Burger King, that the modest Caesar with dressing on the side is a better choice than the bacon double cheeseburger, fries, shake and Baked Alaska that I really want to order. It is much the same with exercise. We know it’s good for us, it (mostly) feels good, but did you know that a Bay Area study found that increasing biking and walking from 4 to 24 minutes a day on average would reduce cardiovascular disease and diabetes by 14% and decrease GHGE by 14% (Maizlish, N. et al 2012 - Health Cobenefits and Transportation-Related Reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the San Francisco Bay Area)? Once again what’s good for you is also good for the environment.
We’ve also all felt the creeping little tendrils of angst when approaching a long, unexpected line of brake lights on Highway 29 when we’re already late for work. That angst is stress, and that’s bad for you too. A study of “commute happiness” in Portland, Oregon found that getting to work by active modes increases commute well-being, even when controlling for distance, income, and other factors. It also found that traffic congestion reduces “commute well-being” for car and bus commuters, but not bike commuters (Smith, O. 2013 - Commute well-being among bicycle, car and transit commuters in Portland, Oregon (Transportation Research Board Poster Presentation). And while seeing your smug and smiling co-worker zip past you on the VINE TRAIL paralleling the road may result in a temporary spike of spite, it may be just the impetus you need to try the Trail tomorrow.
So when the air has finally cleared from our seemingly eternal fire season, and the air quality makes it safe to do so, try the VINE TRAIL for your next trip up or down the Valley and see if you don’t feel better for it.