I'm one of those guys that lives 6 miles away from school and drives. Utter laziness. Here I am so concerned about the environment and I can easily hop into my 15 mpg vehicle and drive to campus.
I have an excuse!
I don't chase cars.
There is a monster hill on the way to school. In fact, it is about 1.5 miles long - at least. So what. Push your butt up that hill.
No can do.
As I am driving up that hill, pushing on the gas peddle of my car, there is some poor chap pushing his bike peddles up that hill gasping for air and getting pure exhaust.
That is my excuse. I don't chase cars that blast exhaust in my face.
I was not genetically programmed to effectively use carbon monoxide - yet it seems our body's hemoglobin prefers it. You ready for a little lesson about hemoglobin? You're gonna get one.
We all know that oxygen binds to hemoglobin and carries it around our bodies dumping it off to whichever tissue screams the loudest for it. It's true. Some big fat cell that is laying there not working hard is not going to get nearly as much oxygen as the muscle that is pushing that guy's butt up the hill. But there is a problem for that guy riding his bike.
Hemoglobin binds carbon monoxide (CO) 200 times better than oxygen. That means that if there is an oxygen or a carbon monoxide floating nearby - BAM - the hemoglobin snags the CO. And then another one - and another one. Hemoglobin can carry up to four hydrogens, carbon monoxides or oxygens.
Hemoglobin works this way. It binds one oxygen and has three spots left for it. The more oxygen it binds, the more affinity it has for more oxygen. This means that if it binds one oxygen it becomes more attracted to binding another oxygen. But - if hemoglobin binds one carbon monoxide, it is likely to bind another carbon monoxide. The more carbon monoxide it binds, the less likely it is that oxygen will bind.
The guy on his bike is not getting much oxygen whilst riding in traffic or busy streets.
So I recommend that people who exercise, please do it on quiet streets or parks. Don't let your hemoglobin grab carbon monoxide.
And if you smoke - what is that? Carbon monoxide. Starving yourself of oxygen? Yep. What does that mean? What is one reason why cancer is so prevelant in smokers? Cancer prospers in a low oxygen environment. Don't create that environment.
Keep biking. Keep running. But on quiet streets.
Wish the 6 miles to school was all flat.
Pretty good excuse, eh?