The idea is simple: Find your home on a map of Springfield. Draw a circle with a 1-mile radius around your home. Try to replace one car trip per week within that circle by riding a bicycle or walking. At an easy riding pace you can travel one mile on a bicycle in about seven minutes. Walking takes about 20 minutes at an easy pace.
For us flabby Americans this apparently sounds like a daunting task. Surely those hearty Dutch on their modern cycle routes routinely travel much farther. Marc at Amsterdamize publishes the latest statistics on Dutch use of bicycles as basic transportation. As commenter Dave points out:
I think one thing that’s interesting to note about those statistics, is that the average person in Nederland cycles 2.48km per day. That’s just over 1.5 miles. The thing to note about that, is that just about anybody can ride that much per day easily, no matter what kind of geographic location they are in (unless they live on a mountain). Just a trip to the grocery store, or to take your kids to school or go out for dinner, whatever. I can think of several handfuls of things that we do that aren’t more than 1.5 miles from our home.
And I suppose that’s the point – everyone can and does ride that much in the NL. I think in other places where people don’t ride as much, it’s important to get people to just *try* a 1.5 mile ride, and they’ll say “oh, that’s easy, I can do that.” and it removes this idea that cycling is hard work and you have to be in shape for it, especially to carry groceries or a child or whatever.
Anyone *can* do it, a lot of people just don’t know it yet.
Well, yes, the Dutch do routinely travel far and wide on their bicycles. But as the numerous videos I’ve linked to demonstrate (example), much of their cycling takes place close to home.
One mile is all it takes to get started. One mile is all it takes to begin making a real difference in your health. One mile is all it takes to begin making a real difference to your pocketbook.
One mile is all it takes to begin saving America.
Welcome to readers from VeloNews! You can read more complete coverage of the 1-mile Solution on its dedicated page. If you like the 1MS idea, please take ownership of it, and find a way to promote it in your area. Thanks!