Barack Bikes in Style

This past weekend presidential hopeful Barack Obama was seen riding his bicycle with his family in their neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois. Apparently the family was celebrating Hillary Clinton’s withdrawal and Obama’s officially nomination as the democratic candidate. The Associated Press published several pictures of Barack riding his bike with his daughters in tow.

The Associated Press’s pictures spurred several thoughts in my mind…

  • Physical Fitness: It’s no secret that Barack Obama lives a health lifestyle. He loves basketball and biking, and he’s committed to a healthy lifestyle (except for smoking cigarettes and eating big, juicy hamburgers). Obama’s take on personal fitness is important because the United States is experiencing an obesity epidemic. We need strong leadership and national programs to help us adopt healthier lifestyles and correct the problems that have largely been ignored over the past decade. Hopefully Barack’s views on physical fitness can help this country lose weight (and keep it off).
  • Alternative Transportation: Public and personal transportation is a growing concern in the U.S., and as gas prices continue to soar our country will need to make national transportation and energy reforms. Currently, there are several options being discussed like renewable energies, domestic oil exploration, cleaner fossil fuels, mass transit, and multi-modal transportation (just to name a few). I hope Barack is serious about changing how this country travels and uses energy. We need to wean ourselves off of non-renewable energy sources and explore alternative energy sources and more sustainable lifestyles and patterns of development. Maybe Barack can lead the way on his bicycle.
  • Urban Living: Since mankind has been on this planet, we have lived in cities. Cities have been the standard for hundreds of years and suburbs have been a small bleep on the radar screen. Cities are the solution as compact and walkable urban areas are the most sustainable forms of development. Barack Obama lives in an urban neighborhood in Chicago (as opposed to a multi-acre ranch in rural Texas). I hope that Obama’s urban experience will lead him to advocate for smarter growth and a return to urban living. We don’t necessarily need mega cities like Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, but we need a network of smaller, compact cities that are sustainable, walkable, and linked together via mass transit.

And remember, not all of us have security guards watching over us as we bike around town. So, when you make transportation reforms please make an effort to make bicycle safety a high priority.

Be the change, Obama. Be the change.

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