5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably don't

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably don't

Postby wizdofaus » Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:18 am

Preaching to the converted of course, but after a slightly heated discussion with my partner (who only just started riding to work too), was inspired to add to the admittedly many articles already out there espousing the virtues of commuting by bike. Feel free to share with whoever you think might be interested, and criticisms definitely welcome:

http://pedalingtowork.blogspot.com.au/
wizdofaus
 
Posts: 231
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:39 am
Location: Kensington, Melbourne, VIC

by BNA » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:09 am

BNA
 

Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby The 2nd Womble » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:09 am

Would you mind me adding this to Safe Cycling Australia on FB?
The only good Cyclist is a Bicyclist

Huge fan of booted RGers who just can't help themselves
User avatar
The 2nd Womble
 
Posts: 3058
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:21 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby find_bruce » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:34 am

Interesting read. I would add a few different ones.

Why I do cycle to work

Cycling is a way to get exercise into my day - I have a desk job and so need to make time for exercise, but I have a lot to fit into each day & I would struggle to find an extra hour per day to exercise - using the time that I would otherwise be travelling to work

There are showers at work - without showers it is unlikely that I would ride to work.

I have somewhere to store my bike at work - I am not sure whether I would ride to work if I had to chain my bike up on the street. At the very least I would be using an even cheaper bike.

Commuter cup racing :mrgreen:

Reasons that might stop me from riding to work

Finding an acceptable route - in Sydney at least this can be a real issue, whether you can find a route that meets your definition of safe & convenient. I found it very difficult to get back into commuting when my route involved climbing Lilyfield Rd & then braving the traffic along the road - just too many near misses with cars turning onto or off Lilyfield Rd for my comfort. Then I found a safe way with less climbing. Of course now that I am much fitter, I like to take a little detour to add in a climb or two.

I wonder whether I would commute everyday if I had to get off & push my bike up & down 50 steps each day to cross the Harbour Bridge.
Image
User avatar
find_bruce
 
Posts: 3781
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 8:42 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby il padrone » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:37 am

I like your work overall, however I do think you need to revisit your claims about the probability of being permanently disabled or killed while cycling being less than that for driving. I don't think the statistics would bear this out.

'Similar' would be OK to say, but not less.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
User avatar
il padrone
 
Posts: 18514
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
Location: Heading for home.

Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby wizdofaus » Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:25 am

Sure, post it/share it wherever you like.

As for the statistical risk, I did actually check the TAC figures, and they're bloated by cyclists (like me) that do take unnecessary risks (often on recreational rides, rather than commuting) riding along with heavy traffic.
In European countries the risk is substantially lower still.
It wasn't the sort of article I wanted to bog down with precise statistical analyses. Hell I couldn't even be bothered converting 20k to miles properly (it's more like 12 a half)!
wizdofaus
 
Posts: 231
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:39 am
Location: Kensington, Melbourne, VIC

Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby il padrone » Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:43 am

....and the driver death stats are bloated by the drink-drivers, speedsters, long-distance sleepers etc. That argument is full of holes and doesn't lead us anywhere.

You and I know that responsible cycling is pretty much as safe as driving, maybe even safer (?). The non-cyclist you're aiming this at simply see cycling as dangerous (thanks to MH...) and you're pushing that well known substance up the hill trying to tell them it is safer, especially where the statistics don't show this completely.

If you don't want to bog down with precise statistics, like I said, better to say "as safe".
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
User avatar
il padrone
 
Posts: 18514
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
Location: Heading for home.

Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby wizdofaus » Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:49 am

I'll remove 'significantly' :-)

It's hard to imagine any but a tiny percentage of cyclists getting killed using bike paths and minor roads exclusively. And of course, the risk of dying from heart disease etc. is massively reduced by cycling too.
wizdofaus
 
Posts: 231
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:39 am
Location: Kensington, Melbourne, VIC

Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby il padrone » Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:51 am

wizdofaus wrote:It's hard to imagine any but a tiny percentage of cyclists getting killed using bike paths and minor roads exclusively.

Paths are not as safe as you might think :wink: :o

Image


In the UK, the town of Milton Keynes was designed in the 70s with a network of segregated bike paths. It has a significantly higher cyclist injury rate than the rest of the UK.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
User avatar
il padrone
 
Posts: 18514
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
Location: Heading for home.

Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby simonn » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:07 am

il padrone wrote:If you don't want to bog down with precise statistics, like I said, better to say "as safe".


Having had to emphasize this recently with family due to Ron Gehring's accident, I used "statically similar" avoiding safe at all. In fact I tend to emphasize how dangerous roads actually are - "three times as many Australians killed every year as were killed in the entire Vietnam War, and that's in a good year" etc etc - rather than use words like "safe".
Image
User avatar
simonn
 
Posts: 3608
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:46 am
Location: Sydney

Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby goneriding » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:27 am

find_bruce wrote:I wonder whether I would commute everyday if I had to get off & push my bike up & down 50 steps each day to cross the Harbour Bridge.


Yes you would, especially if you put it in the context of cross training ;) That's how I cope with it.
Image
User avatar
goneriding
 
Posts: 2240
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:14 pm
Location: Strathfield

Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby wizdofaus » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:35 am

il padrone wrote:
wizdofaus wrote:It's hard to imagine any but a tiny percentage of cyclists getting killed using bike paths and minor roads exclusively.

Paths are not as safe as you might think :wink: :o

Image

In the UK, the town of Milton Keynes was designed in the 70s with a network of segregated bike paths. It has a significantly higher cyclist injury rate than the rest of the UK.


Injury *rate* per cycling trip? I.E., it's definitely not just because more people are using the paths than elsewhere? And we're talking about injuries serious enough to be reported I take it?
Has anyone investigated why?
wizdofaus
 
Posts: 231
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:39 am
Location: Kensington, Melbourne, VIC

Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby simonn » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:31 am

wizdofaus wrote:Has anyone investigated why?


From my own anecdotal and observational study (i.e. a teaspoon of salt), drivers and cyclists do not pay attention at the road (and driveway) crossings. I have seen some scary scary stuff done by cyclists on the Epping Road cycleway - mostly not giving way to cars, which (don't shoot the messenger) do not have to give way to crossing cyclists and peds when exiting onto the main road*.

However, the communication and awareness of both drivers and cyclists has improved immensely over the 4 years or so since it opened.

*The NSW road rules state that vehicles have to give way to crossing pedestrians when turning into a road at an intersection not controlled by traffic lights or a roundabout, but there is no mention of cyclists WRT to this, so who knows. As a non-gung-ho defensive cyclist I give way, just not worth being shunted onto the deck in the middle of a main road to save a few seconds.
Image
User avatar
simonn
 
Posts: 3608
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:46 am
Location: Sydney

Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby il padrone » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:42 am

My statement on Milton Keynes may have overstated things I believe - cannot now find a comparison to UK overall. They do have higher injury rates from cyclists on their paths (Redway) compared to their local roads and especially compared to the main roads in Milton Keynes. Usage of the paths v. roads is somewhat comparable - more adults use the roads, more kids use the paths.

As to reasons for higher injuries, well the higher child use is probably one. Cycle path road crossings (and driveway exits) are always a great hazard, well documented in Europe to the extent that some German authorities are suggesting removal of some cycle paths. Another less well-known factor may be the de-skilling of cyclist roadcraft skills by relying on cycle path or shared path networks.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
User avatar
il padrone
 
Posts: 18514
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
Location: Heading for home.

Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby find_bruce » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:46 am

simonn wrote:From my own anecdotal and observational study (i.e. a teaspoon of salt), drivers and cyclists do not pay attention at the road (and driveway) crossings. I have seen some scary scary stuff done by cyclists on the Epping Road cycleway - mostly not giving way to cars, which (don't shoot the messenger) do not have to give way to crossing cyclists and peds when exiting onto the main road*.

However, the communication and awareness of both drivers and cyclists has improved immensely over the 4 years or so since it opened.

*The NSW road rules state that vehicles have to give way to crossing pedestrians when turning into a road at an intersection not controlled by traffic lights or a roundabout, but there is no mention of cyclists WRT to this, so who knows. As a non-gung-ho defensive cyclist I give way, just not worth being shunted onto the deck in the middle of a main road to save a few seconds.

Um, wouldn't driveways be covered by Road Rules 74 & 75 ?
74 Giving way when entering a road from a road related area or adjacent land
(1) A driver entering a road from a road related area, or adjacent land, without traffic lights or a stop sign, stop line, give way sign or give way line must give way to:
(a) any vehicle travelling on the road or turning into the road (except a vehicle turning right into the road from a road related area or adjacent land), and
(b) any pedestrian on the road, and
(c) any vehicle or pedestrian on any road related area that the driver crosses to enter the road, and

It is one of the commonly misunderstood or ignored road rules & I understand your preference "not to be shunted onto the deck in the middle of the main road" - self preservation is rule No 1 in my book too.
Image
User avatar
find_bruce
 
Posts: 3781
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 8:42 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby simonn » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:56 am

find_bruce, you are correct. However, in my experience you have to be careful relying on this rule.

I was actually thinking of crossing the roads that enter Epping Road as per the image posted by il padrone. Reading again I did not make that clear.

I have seen some seriously gung-ho riding across these roads, and while MVs turning off Epping Rd, must give way to peds that are crossing (not that I would put that rule to the test), there is no rule like this for cyclists. Also the cycle path stops to starts again, it does not cross the road. <- My point.
Image
User avatar
simonn
 
Posts: 3608
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:46 am
Location: Sydney

Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby dynamictiger » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:18 pm

Sorry there are a couple of other reasons not covered...Would be interesting to get another perspective on these as my Mrs trots them out as her excuse to not bike 800 metres to work.

1: I work on a check out. I am on my feet all day. It would tire me out too much
2: A woman of a certain age is entitled to ...more monety to spend, more rest times, a more refined existance, drive her car to and from work
3: Nowhere safe to keep my bike - I can't lock it up outside, I can't put it in the store room, etc etc etc
4: After work I often want to get home as quickly as possible (this is almost laughable if you time the bike against car trip) so I can get on with ...
5: Aomething I can't recall, but I am sure it is another of these gems
Image
dynamictiger
 
Posts: 547
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:08 pm
Location: Victoria Park, WA

Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby il padrone » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:47 pm

dynamictiger wrote:1: I work on a check out. I am on my feet all day. It would tire me out too much

I work on my feet most of the day. The exercise of riding the bike makes me better able to do this.

dynamictiger wrote:2: A woman of a certain age is entitled to ...more monety to spend, more rest times, a more refined existance, drive her car to and from work

What is this "certain age" ?? Is it when you're over 50.... over 60.....? I'm no spring chicken. Don't ever let age get in the way of enjoying a good, fit & healthy life.

dynamictiger wrote:3: Nowhere safe to keep my bike - I can't lock it up outside, I can't put it in the store room, etc etc etc

Security is an issue. Lobby the boss. In the meantime ride a clunker (or better, a nice bike that looks like a clunker.... these days most touring bikes or rigid MTBS are pretty low-spec when it comes to thievery appeal).

dynamictiger wrote:4: After work I often want to get home as quickly as possible

So ride a bike :roll:
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
User avatar
il padrone
 
Posts: 18514
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
Location: Heading for home.

Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby dynamictiger » Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:57 pm

il padrone wrote:
dynamictiger wrote:
dynamictiger wrote:2: A woman of a certain age is entitled to ...more monety to spend, more rest times, a more refined existance, drive her car to and from work

What is this "certain age" ?? Is it when you're over 50.... over 60.....? I'm no spring chicken. Don't ever let age get in the way of enjoying a good, fit & healthy life.


This gem popped out last week. It was originally about money to spend and has since expanded to anything at all. However we did have a debate at work over the original A woman of a certain age needs more money to spend and after some debate settled on age 12 as being the certain age.
Image
dynamictiger
 
Posts: 547
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:08 pm
Location: Victoria Park, WA

Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby find_bruce » Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:59 pm

simonn wrote:find_bruce, you are correct. However, in my experience you have to be careful relying on this rule.

I was actually thinking of crossing the roads that enter Epping Road as per the image posted by il padrone. Reading again I did not make that clear.

I have seen some seriously gung-ho riding across these roads, and while MVs turning off Epping Rd, must give way to peds that are crossing (not that I would put that rule to the test), there is no rule like this for cyclists. Also the cycle path stops to starts again, it does not cross the road. <- My point.

Thanks for clearing that up Simon - we are in furious agreement, both as to the road rules & the inadvisability of relying on drivers obeying them
Image
User avatar
find_bruce
 
Posts: 3781
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 8:42 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby g-boaf » Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:10 pm

If I were to commute, it'd probably take 1.5 hours each way, and my route doesn't have those nice bike paths all the way - so it's just not convenient. Train is so much faster and I do get a seat every day.

Other than that, I'm fit enough to manage it. Funnily enough, the strong cycling advocate where I work, I ride further and much faster than he does. He set the idea, I just got a bit carried away. :lol: Some setbacks along the way and a lot of learning and some KOMS, here I am.

If they ever build those mooted veloways in Sydney, it'll work out perfectly for me. :)

Comparing when I didn't ride, I was getting overweight, had health issues - now I'm very light, have few actual health problems and feel pretty good. Biggest change? Hardly any sinus issues or headaches associated with them now. I breathe much more easily.

They have to get more people into this, get them out of their smoke boxes.
User avatar
g-boaf
 
Posts: 4098
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:11 pm

Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:06 pm

dynamictiger wrote:This gem popped out last week. It was originally about money to spend and has since expanded to anything at all. However we did have a debate at work over the original A woman of a certain age needs more money to spend and after some debate settled on age 12 as being the certain age.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

800 metres is too slow and too far? I didn't know my GLW had a sister :(
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
User avatar
Mulger bill
Super Mod
Super Mod
 
Posts: 25882
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 2:41 pm
Location: Sunbury Vic

Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby il padrone » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:16 pm

Mulger bill wrote:800 metres is too slow and too far? I didn't know my GLW had a sister :(


:shock:

So point of clarification dynamictiger. Please tell me your wife walks this 'huge distance' to work? Surely?

Oh no, she drives a car. For the love of mike!!!
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
User avatar
il padrone
 
Posts: 18514
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:57 pm
Location: Heading for home.

Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby zero » Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:43 pm

wizdofaus wrote:
il padrone wrote:
In the UK, the town of Milton Keynes was designed in the 70s with a network of segregated bike paths. It has a significantly higher cyclist injury rate than the rest of the UK.


Injury *rate* per cycling trip? I.E., it's definitely not just because more people are using the paths than elsewhere? And we're talking about injuries serious enough to be reported I take it?
Has anyone investigated why?


Yes its been studied.

Its an extraordinarily extensive share pathing system, with hundreds of non marked on the roadway, no priority crossings, in a suburb that is more or less designed for the volume storage of cars (everyone has internal offroad space for his/hers, and thus generates massive volumes of car traffic. People get hit at the poorly marked crossings, or crossing driveways.
zero
 
Posts: 2635
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:54 pm

Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby wizdofaus » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:45 am

dynamictiger wrote:Sorry there are a couple of other reasons not covered...Would be interesting to get another perspective on these as my Mrs trots them out as her excuse to not bike 800 metres to work.

1: I work on a check out. I am on my feet all day. It would tire me out too much
2: A woman of a certain age is entitled to ...more monety to spend, more rest times, a more refined existance, drive her car to and from work
3: Nowhere safe to keep my bike - I can't lock it up outside, I can't put it in the store room, etc etc etc
4: After work I often want to get home as quickly as possible (this is almost laughable if you time the bike against car trip) so I can get on with ...
5: Aomething I can't recall, but I am sure it is another of these gems


1. My partner is a nurse who works on her feet the whole day, and had said the same thing. She finds riding far less exhausting than driving (admittedly I'm not comparing apples with apples - she used to drive for up to an hour through traffic before we moved, thus enabling her to now ride) - exhaustion is often more mental than physical.
2. If you feel entitled to more money to spend then riding a bike's a great way to have it! And if you've ever been to Paris, you'll see even the most refined of fashionable dames on their bicycles.
3. Seems hard to believe - I don't think I've ever been anywhere it's been easier to park a car than to lock up a bike.
4. This would depend on your individual circumstances of course, but if it's, say 20 minutes' driving vs 40 minutes' riding, like I said, the latter is productive time that's doing you good, the former is not, and would mean if you wanted the advantages of staying fit and healthy you'd need to find another half an hour or so in the day to get the exercise our bodies are designed to need (standing all day at a check out doesn't really count!)

But yes, there's plenty more I could list and discuss.
wizdofaus
 
Posts: 231
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:39 am
Location: Kensington, Melbourne, VIC

Re: 5 reasons you should ride to work, and 5 you probably do

Postby Xplora » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:30 pm

The final point in the blog is really THE biggest aspect I reckon.

Humans are hard wired to try and achieve things. Sitting in a car designed to drive at 160-200kmh, doing 20kmh in gridlock for 2 hours a day, is incredibly frustrating and emasculating. Like "OM WT SRSLY I AM GOING TO KILL THEM ALL" type frustrating. The limiting factor riding a bike is your fitness, then corners and lights, then your bike. It is suddenly about you, and not the cars around you. That responsibility means that you are able to focus on your achievement as you get to your destination. As you get fitter, lose weight, get more toned, get faster, get those KOMs, buy the Garmin, upgrade your pedals, tyres.... it doesn't escalate for most people, but the fact is that you GET something from cycling, even as a commuter. You get a tiny fraction of the psychological reward from a car, unless you are one of those people that is able to convince others to have sex with you on the basis of your "sweet ride" etc. And even then, you've spent a year's wages which would have been better spent on hookers. I digress.

I think there is a place for cars, my childhood was supported by the car industry, but we have to recognise that driving is not a high level skill, it cannot provide the same physiological stimulation and benefits as using your legs, and cars are not worth the performance gains for the enormous costs that come with them. If you just got your food delivered, how much would you save on a car? I can guarantee that for half of our nation it would cheaper to use taxis, hire cars and delivery services.

And you'd be happier for the commutes as well :D
Xplora
 
Posts: 6180
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:33 pm
Location: TL;DR

Next

Return to Cycling Safety and Advocacy

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users



Popular Bike Shops
Torpedo 7 Torpedo7 AU
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK
Wiggle Wiggle UK
Ebay Ebay AU

“Bicycles BNA Twitter
“Bicycles BNA Facebook
“Google+ BNA Google+
“Bicycles BNA Newsletter

> FREE BNA Stickers
> BNA Cycling Kit