As Bike to Work Week* in Vancouver came and went, I found myself wanting to cycle more to work rather than relying on the car. Really, what better way is there than to take peddle power…instead of fighting traffic, being delayed and getting stressed about it on your daily commute?
I believe most of us know the benefits of biking to work but read on if you need a refresher—or inspiration as I did.
1. Saving Money
Obviously if you stop driving your car, sell it, and cancel your license, you will save a lot of money. We admire our car-free friends, but most of us aren’t quite ready to go that far despite the significant savings you’d experience by riding to work.
According to StatsCan, the median commute is 8.7 km, taking nearly 24 minutes – that adds up to a median 4,350 km of driving per year!
Depending on the kind of vehicle you have, you’ll get usually use 5-8L of fuel for 100 km, meaning between 217-348L of fuel per year. With gas prices ranging from $1.39/L to $1.69/L, the savings are around $300 to $588 depending on the price of gas, and the type of car you drive. Note that just includes the cost of gas—not the additional costs of parking, insurance or maintenance.
2. Improving Your Health
The Barcelona Institute for Global Health reported that cycling was the mode of transport that had the greatest health benefits across every analysis—better than walking! Like every other form of physical activity, Health Canada notes that cycling can reduce the likelihood of a large number of chronic conditions, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some kinds of cancer.
The effects aren’t limited to physical health either. Keep reading for more information on how cycling can affect your performance and mental health. I’m in.
3. Improve Performance and Reduce Stress
I can’t think of any better way to prepare for a morning of stressful meetings than a 30-minute commute through Vancouver traffic, but I prefer to leave things to the experts… like the ones at Concordia University. In 2017 they released a study that showed employees who cycled to work had significantly lower stress levels in the first 45 minutes of work.
Over and above that, a study earlier this year linked walking and cycling to work with benefits like improved job performance, fewer missed days of work, and a better mood than commuters who drive (no surprise with the traffic congestion found in cities).
4. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
In case it’s not obvious, we love doing the math and making business decisions based on data, but the economics of being environmentally friendly are very complex. Fortunately the folks over at Our Streets MPLS have done their (and our) homework on the carbon footprint.
It turns out that switching to riding your bike isn’t a carbon neutral activity—after all, you still need fuel to ride your bike. That said, the CO2 released per KM drops from 271 g/km to 16 g/km. Based on the distance of 4,350 km from the average commute that takes a commuter from a little more than 1 (943 kg) ton of CO2/year to 70kg. That reduction is nearly the same amount of carbon for a single passenger on a flight from Vancouver to Toronto!
At Makeshift Work Space we endorse all of these reasons for cycling to work, and have showers and a secure bike lockup for all of our members and guests.
Even if you don’t have a bike, or want to split your commute with public transit, it’s easy with Mobi, Vancouver’s bike share program, situated just across the street from our work space and with stations all over Vancouver!
*Note: There is another Bike to Work Week this year, October 21-27th, so no more excuses about not biking to work—check out the fun things they’ve organized like “Celebration Stations” and some very cool prize draws.