Cyclists Who Serve
Les Domestiques – Cyclists who serve
The advocacy role of Les Domestiques is the promotion of cycling for its health, environmental, social and economic benefits. As a group of highly influential business and community leaders we lend a voice to cycling never before heard in Canada. We wish to support the good work done by many clubs, organizations and committees on the municipal, provincial and national level by getting in front of politicians, business leaders and athletics organizations to ensure cycling and all its myriad benefits to Canadians gets the attention it deserves.
Reduced Cost of Living
Cycling provides increased mobility for people of lower incomes due to the low initial and recurring costs.
Switching from a car to a bike can save approximately $10,000 per year due to not having to pay for car insurance, gas, maintenance and depreciation. Cycling to work and recreational cycling have also been shown to increase work productivity.
Safe cycling routs are an integral part of a well-designed public transit system. To create a healthy and livable city, it is vital that Canadians feel empowered to cycle safely for transport and leisure.
Regular cycling helps cardiovascular health. It can be part of a safe weight management plan and reduces societal health care costs caused by a sedentary lifestyle. For example, new full-time bicycle commuters can expect to lose an average of 13 pounds in their first year of bicycle commuting, if they maintain the same eating habits.
With 2.8 million obese Canadians between the ages of 20 and 64, Health Canada states, “Canadians live a car-centered lifestyle taking away a great opportunity to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives.”
Cycling has few externalized costs compared to personal vehicle use. Environment Canada asserts that “…transportation in urban centers causes 78% of air pollution”. Particulate matter, NOx, SOx, greenhouse gases and ground level ozone are contributing factors to radical increases in childhood asthma, smog warnings and health care costs for the elderly. In addition, cars are one of the leading causes of accidental fatalities.
The demand for new roads and parking lots is eroding green space in most Canadian cities, reducing the quality of life of residents and placing a significant burden on surrounding environments. The raw materials for new road construction and maintenance also increase our carbon footprint.
Promotion of Canadian Competitive Cycling
Canadian representation in major professional and goodwill cycling events, such as the Tour de France and Olympics, is limited by the provision of opportunities to cycle safely. By increasing the quality, length and interconnectedness of cycle paths, young people will be able to develop in the sport. The growth of cycling will be assured as will the representation of Canadians in the professional ranks of cycling.