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The Simplest Machine BikeLife Boulder 35 And its true bikes solve problems. Big ones too like obe- sity one in three U.S. adults are obese per the Centers for Disease Control or climate change according to NASA nine of the ten warmest years on record have happened since 2000 and of course traffic congestion in the 15 big- gest U.S. cities drivers average 63 hours of delays per year. If we want a healthy lifestyle and more sustainable fu- ture we should start with our kids. Get em biking to school. When kids are used to biking to and from school the bicy- cle becomes their first transportation option whether its to friends houses soccer games or just for fun. Biking to school provides much-needed daily exercise and they arrive more ready to learn. Check out this issues article Can Bikes Make You Smarter for more. I used to joke with my kids that they were way better off biking to school than the kids who arrive in the back of a car. It turns out that science backs me up Environmentally replacing car trips with bicycle trips is one of many ways we can contribute to a greener healthier tomorrow. But the benefits of bikes arent just on a societal level. According to the federal Safe Routes to School program in 1969 48 percent of kids walked or biked to school in 2009 that number was just 13 percent. To me bikes are a great tool for promoting independence in our children and help- ing them grow into self-sufficient adults. So what can you do to get your kids on bikes You can start by riding with them but recognize that they will grow more if they ride on their own. If you need more peace of mind ad- vocate to local governments to invest in family-friendly infra- structure like off-street paths protected bike lanes and ade- quate bicycle parking at popular destinations. The more kids we get on bikes the more they have the opportunity to grow. Let them ride that simple machine and help save the world. T he bicycle is a simple solution to some of the worlds most complicated problems. Im not sure where I first heard that but that quote has always stuck in my head. The many benefits of the bike By CHRIS HAGELIN