In 2005, the UN’s Millennium Ecosystem Assessment report established that “Human activity is putting such strain on the natural functions of Earth that the ability of the planet’s ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted.”

Looking at the Kenyan media over the past two days, one would wonder if the fears in that UN report haven’t come to pass earlier than thought. The situation seems not just unique to the Kenyan public, as a section of the political divide would like us to believe.

Look at media houses from neighbouring countries (Uganda and Tanzania). We see cars in their tens or even hundreds ‘queued at petrol (gas) stations. They are not there to refill their tanks! Rather be first in line to refill once the now-deplete petrol stations restock their supplies.

One particular tweet by a local Kenyan lawyer (turned politician) picked my interest.

Mmm… interesting take there by Havi! Don’t you think?

Let us dig a bit deeper into the nitty-gritties of Havi’s imaginations. Yes, they are imaginations since the elite capitalists riding high on the stupid wave that is the world’s consumerism would never allow it. How could they? And spell doom to their taps of blood diamonds and riches?

The Workout in Cycling?

As a car owner, you are certainly feeling frustrated by the current state of affairs with the Kenya petroleum products supply. The idea of cycling to work might seem like the dumbest thing to be said during such a devastating economic situation.

But just think about it, what do you have to lose or gain by cycling to work? Well, here is a snippet to some of the benefits of cycling to work:

  • Time-Efficient Exercise

You know you have (or had) a gym subscription that you underutilized or never even showed up at all. Your schedule is stretched between work, school, family, and friends that religiously sticking to a gym routine is impossible.

Well, cycling to work will be an exercise in itself, and you will be commuting back and forth to work. My brothers from the Lake-side will call it ‘killing two birds with one stone.’

  • Low-Impact Exercise

The majority of white-collar (or middle class) people are heavier and thicker than they wish. You cannot stick to a workout routine that will demand heightened and strenuous exercise from your body for a long time. Probably why you don’t hit the gym as often as you’d wish.

With cycling, you can move as low or as fast as your body can handle. It all falls down to your gear-ratio combination and how much you put your back into it.

  • Work Out All Major Body Muscles

While cycling, you put major body muscles to exercise. These groups of muscles include: thighs, calf, gluts, biceps, triceps, feet muscles, and deltoids.

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Health Benefits of Cycling

The convenience of modern life means more people are moving away from regular physical exercise and getting too comfortable with a sedentary lifestyle. We have cars, lifts, mechanized labor, remote control, and smartphones to blame for that! However, if you decide to take up cycling; either to spare yourself the headache of rising petrol scarcity or to lead a healthy lifestyle. The following are some of the health benefits:

  • Stronger and fitter cardiovascular muscle – so yes, better heart health
  • A general increase in body muscle strength and flexibility
  • Better body posture
  • Stronger bones
  • Less body fat (you unfat)
  • Better management of lifestyle diseases
  • Less anxiety and depression levels

Why the Capitalist Elite hate a Healthier You

Suppose you’re an average middle-class Kenyan who goes to work to make an honest living and pay your taxes. You probably own a car, have several loans and insurance plans, and have taken your school to private schools to be educated just enough to be obedient to their workplace masters. You are alright, ain’t’ you?

Here’s why cycling does not work to the benefit of the capitalist elite who actually call the shots in society. They are the owners or biggest shareholders of pharmacies, private hospitals, banks, insurance companies, petrol refill stations, car mechanics shops, etc.

A healthier and fitter you means less profit for them. The things that actually make you healthy often don’t have much commercial viability as a business venture. Actually, healthy people are not needed for the economy.

A cyclist would be terrible for the economy. He doesn’t buy a car and doesn’t need to take a car loan or car insurance. He certainly doesn’t buy fuel at the gas station. He will not take his car to the auto repair shop for servicing or repairs. Hell, he doesn’t even pay for the parking fee or pay the traffic police bribes.

Since cycling makes him healthy, he doesn’t need to buy drugs. They don’t need private hospitals and doctors to charge them hefty fees. They add very little to the country’s GDP. They mind their eating habits, so they put less demand for the establishment of fast-food (read junk food) chains.

An informal report has it that there are at least 30 jobs created for every fast food restaurant established – 10 weight loss experts, 10 dentists, and 10 cardiologists.

PS – The Capitalist Elite hates someone who walks even more. These guys don’t even buy bicycles and are fitter.