Tips for staff to try and change the idea that it takes too long to cycle to work?

Aimee Kontor
City of Swan

With the results of a recent staff bike survey in hand and a list of overused bike related puns, I have a plan to post regular stories with tips and info which will hopefully encourage staff to cycle more. The first story (below), posted on the staff intranet page, aims to address the top barrier to cycling to work (or cycling more frequently) - time taken to cycle - as reported by survey respondents.

Is the time taken to cycle to work wheely a limiting factor?

Bike articles are often filled with overused puns and this one is no exception – after all, why should we reinvent the wheel?

But seriously, respondents to the recent staff bike survey selected 'time taken to cycle' as the top barrier to them cycling to work or cycling to work more frequently, so we thought it would be beneficial to compile some things to consider before you rule out cycling to work because of the time factor:

Is driving really quicker?

- The people at YourMove (a Department of Transport program) tell us that people tend to overestimate the amount of time taken to cycle and underestimate driving travel time

- Don't rely on Google Maps to give you an accurate guess of how long your cycling commute will take – travel time varies a lot depending on the person, bike, exact route, etc. – try it yourself and see.

- Have you considered time spent deciding what to wear, getting ready, travelling, parking, traffic, etc.? Is the difference between time taking if cycling and driving significant?


- When riding, you get to park your bike basically at the entrance of your destination – generally this is quicker than having to find a parking spot for your car and walking to your office from it (e.g. if you park in the Morrison Road carpark or 'The Cage' and walk to Admin). Bike parking is also always free!

-Finding 30

Do you struggle to find time in your day for the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity? By cycling to work, you could achieve two goals with one action so when you get home at the end of the day, you can get stick straight into your next task, whether that be getting dinner ready, spending time with family or relaxing!

Some tips and facts to make cycling to work easier/quicker/more justifiable:

- Get ready the night before: Prepare your cycling clothes, helmet and bike lock, work clothes, and stuff you need to shower (if applicable) and get ready at work – it was save you time and stress. Make sure your bike is ready to go too (pump up your tyres etc.)

Trial your route: Before you ride to work for the first time (or even if it has been a while), trial the route (or a couple routes) the weekend before or on your day off. This can save you time on the day as there is no need to leave unnecessarily early 'just in case'.

Cycling could save you money: Running a car (fuel, services, etc.) and paying to park at work or the train station are costs you need not have (or can reduce) if you cycle. Plus City of Swan staff can claim the Travel to Work Subsidy if they cycle and/or catch public transport, essentially earning money by cycling to work.

Cycling improves cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and flexibility and joint mobility, and reduces stress!

Now it is September and the weather will be more consistently clear (i.e. great for cycling), why not spring into action and try cycling to work (or cycling more in general)?

More info on cycling to work can be found at YourMove and WestCycle.

This story is related to Promote active travel

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James (Your Move)

Great article Aimee! You have done a great job of addressing common perceived barriers. It will be interesting to see the response you get. For your interest, apart from google maps there are other trip planning apps people can use. I have just discovered which seems a great tool and can also be integrated with some Bosch powered ebike displays. You have earned 25 points for this article and 10 points for providing the complete text. BTW - do you have a dedicated page for Active Travel on your infranet? If so, you could post a story on that; if not, maybe that could be a future task?

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