Cycling – Best Form of Commuting?

Cycling Oxford

Nice story on Bike radar – how cyclists commuting into Los Angeles were quicker in getting to work than a specially chartered plane carrying commuters. Bike v Plane

My personal commute from door to office (school). Distance 2.6 miles

  • bicycle – 11-13 minutes (11 is quick, 13 minutes is steady. A steady ride means no sweat. An 11 minute commute means a quick Italian shower (i.e. spray of deodorant). This time involves stopping at all red lights!
  • Bus – 25 minutes – (7 minute walk, 5 minute wait, 15-17 mins bus ride). Even if I started at same time as bus from bus stop, it’s still quicker because the bus gets stuck in traffic, has to make frequent stops.
  • Walking – never tried. But, I’m sure it’s long time.
  • Car – 18 minutes. In the rush hour the car is slower than a bicycle because of the traffic jams, that a bike can beat. Also, you have to spend time parking in multi-storey carpark. Though the real disadvantage of the car is paying £9 parking for a day. (And I think it’s a great idea to make parking so expensive)

Cycling Oxford

  • Cycling is by far the quickest and cheapest mode of transport. (cost per mile of cycling)
  • It also provides a double benefit as cycling to work I use as a short recovery ride in between more intense training sessions.
  • It’s also the mode of transport which puts me in best frame of mind. I feel a sense of freedom cycling. Yes, you face the elements, but I prefer that to being squashed against the armpits of some random stranger on a bus.
  • When it rains it takes a little longer to prepare as I put on waterproof trousers / jacket e.t.c.

In 11 years of commuting to work by bicycle I have been late perhaps on 1 or 2 occasions due to puncture on route. However, since getting really good puncture resistant tyres a few years ago, this has never occurred.

When I consider all the money saved, I really deserve to go and buy one of these commuting bikes I’ve been testing. :)

What about your commute? Is cycling the quickest mode of transport for getting to work / school?



8 Responses to Cycling – Best Form of Commuting?

  1. Lewis September 5, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

    When I was at uni I had a (just under) 3 mile commute and easily beat the bus. I timed it once and the bus took a minute longer (not including the two minute walk from house to the bus stop and 5 minute walk from bus stop to uni cutting across the park).

    I have a 4 mile commute to work and it usually takes 15-18 minutes. Bus is at least 20 mins and then I still have to walk from the bus station to work. I used to pound it along the road, but I’ve just recovered from a broken wrist so I’m taking it easy, and I noticed that it going flat out takes just as long (because of traffic lights and queues). The are no cycle lanes on my commute and the roads are not particularly wide, so queues slow me down a bit. The bus is £3.25 for a day ticket and is notoriously unreliable. I hate waiting at bus stops.

    • Lewis September 5, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

      Forgot to mention my uni commute was usually 11-13 minutes.

  2. darren August 11, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    I have almost a 20 mile commute and I always envied those who had a short enough commute to do it easily by bike. I recently started driving part way and then riding the last half. I use a folding bike I can keep in my trunk. I’m starting to think I might want to do the whole distance a few days a week :)

  3. King of the World July 20, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    Interestingly, I had a 2.5 mile commute each way. I used to cycle until I hit a car. Thereafter I took the bus, but then it wasn’t very frequent, and took a long time. So I decided to…run. Surprisingly, running isn’t much slower than cycling, probably faster depending on traffic conditions, and faster still if you allow for time taken to lock up/dress up. Cycling is probably less than 20 minutes, running is just about 20 minutes, and bus is over 30 minutes. I think that waiting at those traffic lights really eats away at the time when you’re cycling. But I could definitely aim at a 15 minute run to work, and it’s safer to run to work at full speed compared to cycling at full tilt.

    In terms of baggage…I just use my brother’s cheap Tesco bag that has cushions at the back, and tie it tight around my waist…very little movement!

    • tejvan July 20, 2011 at 11:58 am #

      interesting, though I guess running is a little more sweaty than cycling?

      • King of the World July 21, 2011 at 9:52 am #

        Not necessarily, because when I cycle I almost always go as fast as I (safely) can – so I’m probably just as sweaty. I’ve decided to actually do interval training on my route: walk, then beast, then walk, then beast, etc.

  4. Mark Roberts July 20, 2011 at 5:16 am #

    I’ve got a slightly longer commute – 16 miles if I go the shortest way – so tend to combine training with the commute. If I ride very hard I can still be faster than I would be by bus and nearly as quick as by car. Combined with all the other benefits (weight management, cardio fitness, improved frame of mind, money saving) it’s an absolute no-brainer for me. I have a hard time understanding why so many people choose to drive, particularly for journeys under three miles.

    • tejvan July 20, 2011 at 11:59 am #

      Yes, my lodger is always in a rush in morning, we start at same time 9am, but he leaves house 30 mins early to get bus and walk quite a way.

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