Some people need to drive a work vehicle or carry equipment to work, or travel too far to use active transport. Yet, with the median Australian commute time being 30 minutes, and the average distance travelled at 16.3km it leaves the opportunity for others to switch.
Bike riding makes sense whenever it is faster and easier than the alternatives. For journeys under 10km that take longer than 30 minutes, you’re likely to be in the ‘sweet spot’ where commuting by bike will be as fast or faster. Most adult riders can cycle 8-10km in 30 minutes, depending on hills and traffic lights.
Sometimes it’s not the distance on the map, but other issues that get in the way. We have included a Q & A to help you work through them.
Q: The route – is there a way to get to work that’s safe and comfortable to ride on?
A: For this one Google Maps may not be your friend. Check the council websites you need to travel through for a bike map, or get in touch with your local Bicycle User Group for advice on the best route.
Q: End of trip facilities – where can I shower and change when I get to work?
A: Check with your boss or building manager, some workplaces have facilities but don’t publicise them. If your work has none, ask what arrangements could be made.
Q: Bike parking – where do I put my bike so it doesn’t get damaged or stolen?
A: Again your boss or building manager should be able to help.
Q: It’s too far to ride all the way to work.
A: If you can ride to a station to start your journey or cycle to your office at the end, that may put public transport within your reach, cut petrol and parking bills and help add exercise into your day.
Q: I don’t own a bike or can’t store one at home.
A: Check if there’s a share bike scheme operating in your area, if not why not reach out to companies in your state and ask them to set up near you.
Travelling to work by bike can make a huge difference to your finances by cutting fares or the petrol, tolls, parking and servicing costs of running a vehicle. It can also give you more time for other things.
“Riding to work has meant that most days I don’t have to find extra time for exercise,” said CEO of Bicycle NSW, Alistair Ferguson.
“My ride is about 20km, so even if I only ride one way and take the train back, I’ve had plenty of exercise for the day, and it doesn’t take much longer than catching the train,” said Alistair.
Bicycle NSW regularly calls for infrastructure improvements to help more people travel by bike, and highlights the benefits more bike riding can have even for non-riders.