By Nick Busca 7 December On the first day I commuted to work by bike, I woke up earlier than usual, overstuffed my backpack with snacks, clothes and towels and hit the road at After a few miles, the GPS route I was following disappeared, forcing me to pull over to find the route again. Meanwhile, lorries and angry drivers were honking and overtaking me at high speed at a very busy junction. After more than an hour in the saddle, I finally arrived at the office, stressed out — but on time.
For those of us who live in crowded cities with bad traffic and scarce parking, there are two main options for commuters: View image of Credit: Getty Images When you compare the two, it seems like an easy win for the former: In London, according to the most recent census data , the number of cycling commuters more than doubled, from 77, in to , in When I lived in in Turin, Italy I always cycled: I thought the same would apply in London.
But that lasted only until I started to ride bikes for living I was working for a cycling magazine. Hiewon Sohn At the time, my office was 12 miles 19km from my home — which meant either an hour in the saddle or an hour on the overground train.
Although the time was the same, cycling was much cheaper: For one, the need for consistency. Doing that just twice a month added up quickly. On a bicycle, the traffic, the red lights and pollution made the ride a nightmare.
Sitting on the train and reading was the more enjoyable option. But my experience made me wonder: It's definitely cheaper overall and more convenient and this year will cost half what it normally does, and even less if I carry on next year.
He sold his car. He currently rides 16km 10 miles each way to get to work. Even if not at the same speed as in Europe, commuting by bike is also finding new momentum down under. Horn started to cycle to work in , when he was tired of slow commutes, long walks and expensive train trips.
Benny Horn Weighing the costs So, is cycling to work is always cheaper than using public transport, the answer — based on a pure data analysis — is: In the short- and medium-term depending, of course, on where you live , public transport can actually be a better value. Using data from industry bodies, retailers and national transportation sites, BBC Capital compared the cost of cycling to the cost of public transport in 12 cities to find out where a two-wheeled commute could save you the most money.
We took the average cycling costs for a country — the cost of a bicycle, accessories and maintenance — and compared that to the cost of a monthly travel card on public transport. We found that although cycling has a high up-front cost, those costs are soon recouped in a city with expensive public transport. The lower the public transport cost, the longer it takes for cycling to become cheaper than transit. If you live in an expensive city like New York or London, cycling is the most cost-effective option.
That means it will take much longer to recoup the cost of the bike alone: Add in gear and maintenance, and in Krakow public transport can actually be less expensive than using a bike regularly. That cost covers biannual tune-ups and replacing parts like chains, brake pads, tires and cables. As for your bike, it should last longer. That does depend on how well the bike is maintained — an old adage in the bicycle industry is: