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Super Awesome Science Show: Riding bikes

Global News with Meghan Winters 27 August 2019

 

Over the last few years, getting around by bicycle has become increasingly popular. But the number of people in Canada choosing cycling over four-wheeled methods of transportation is still relatively low. On this week’s Super Awesome Science Show, we’re going to explore what has led to this increase and how we might be able to make Canada a cycling nation.

We first talk with Meghan Winters at Simon Fraser University about the rise of cycling across the country. She reveals some of the reasons behind the surge and why cycling hasn’t become the most popular form of transportation in Canada. Pointing to examples of success stories in the country, she shares her belief that Canada may one day mirror European cities, such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen, where cycling is dominant.

Building a cycling community takes more than just promotion. Cities also need to plan for increased ridership, and this means spending money to ensure access and safety. We next speak with Khandker Nurul Habib, a professor at the University of Toronto who is one of the go-to researchers on how to best achieve this goal. His research reveals some of the obstacles that prevent an increase in the cycling population and how these obstacles can be managed.

In our SASS Class, we look at a new trend in biking: the e-bike. Our guest teacher is Alex Bigazzi from the University of British Columbia. He has been looking at what makes these motorized vehicles more attractive and explains that they offer not just a quicker and easier ride but also some good exercise in the process.

Meghan Winters is an associate professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University.