It stands to reason, right? A car travelling through a town can go from 20 to 30 mph in urban areas and a bike only 10 to 12 mph on average. Clearly the car is going to win every single time so I’m taking the car!
Seems logical right? Yes. but potential speed isn’t the only factor when travelling from A to B.
Let’s break it down
In a car you…
- Are more prone to getting stuck in traffic
- Have to stick to just the roads
- Have to find an appropriate place to park at point B and then walk
On a bike you…
- Can easily overtake traffic
- Use cycle paths as well as roads (some offer impressive short-cuts)
- Have more opportunities to lock your bike up – in many cases right outside to where you need to be
- Don’t have to pay for parking or fines for overstaying your welcome
A win for the bike!
In so many cases cycling is much faster than driving. This is especially true when commuting within your own town or city. For instance, I am sat on our boat on the Oxford Canal at Hythe Bridge Street in Oxford as I type. If I fancied popping to the shop in Summertown this is what google maps show me.
The car could be quicker (in the best case scenario which let’s face it is rare), but when you take into account finding a space in Summertown and then walking to your point B it would have still been longer than a ride in on the bike which is a 10-minute cycle.
Oxford is pretty bad for traffic most of the time though, so in fact, it would commonly be worst-case-scenario meaning driving would have certainly taken longer than cycling even without taking parking and walking into account.
Bike vs Car in Bicester
Let’s see how the guys over at Bicester BUG got along with a race between bike and car from the outskirts of Bicester to a coffee shop in the town centre.
On your marks, get set, GO!
Cycling, on the whole, was 5-minutes faster than driving. Not only that, but it was also cleaner with regards to pollution and the bikes locked up probably took 1/8 the place that the car would have meaning if we all went by bike that we’d have more valuable space to live, work and play in.
Would you cycle instead of driving?
Has this inspired you to cycle? Not only will you be living greener, but regular cycling will also help keep you fit and will save you a considerable amount of cash. Plus, let’s just face it, cyclists are just way more AWESOME than normal humans!
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