Friday, April 12, 2013

My cycling in Singapore experiences - Why not ride to work?

I read a new nicely written e-book, LET’S BIKE TO WORK, SINGAPORE: A QUICK START GUIDE by Calvin Boo. In it there is a list of reasons why many cyclists think they cannot cycle to work. I would like to share my views on them here.

Why [Not] Ride To Work?

Ten and more reasons …
Start a conversation with any cyclist and most can churn up at least ten reasons why they cannot cycle to work: 

1. no bike parking 

My favorite solution is to use a losable bike. Estimate how much money ($M) would you save by riding to work per return-trip. Estimate how many days (D) would you ride to work per week. Estimate how many bikes (N) would you not mind to lose in a year. For e.g., M=3, D=3, N=4, then get bicycles that cost about M x F x 52 / N = 3 x 3 x 52 / 4 = $117. Some quick tips to make N small here.

If you drive, then the savings are many folds of the above estimation.

Another nice solution is keep you bike near your work desk or in some space in your office. Typically use a folding bike allows that. However, a durable folding bike for regular commuting may cost more.

2. no safe cycling route 

This can't be solved because no route is 100% safe. What we can do is to make it safe enough. Check out some of these maps to see if safer alternative routes can be found for your trip. 

(Credits go to the different initiators of the above maps and many who contributed routes and information on the maps.)

3. arrive in office sweaty 
We can't avoid the sweat, but we can try to minimize it. Some suggestions are ride before 8:30 a.m., wear a all around hat or add something like DaBrim to helmets, ride at a slower pace (but not too slow relative to the traffic), etc.

4. no shower facility 

Shower is not the only method to freshen up. More people have found bathe before setting out, and wipe with wet tissue (see mrbrown's Quick Guide) or small towel is good enough. Of course the ideal is to have shower facilities.

5. work starts early 
6. work ends too late 

err... why? Oh, is it that many think imagine that cycling to work would take eons? Cycling to work is faster than taking public transport in most (maybe >90%?) cases. It is also faster than driving in some situations and timings. Or, another way of viewing it as one's exercise time, unproductive transportation time became healthy exercise time, and previous exercise time became quality family/social time.

7. don't like the peak hour traffic 

Yes, nobody likes the peak hour traffic. However, I would prefer to be on a bicycle in peak hour traffic than on a bus/train/taxi/car :)

8. parents or spouse or the better half disagrees 

This one outsiders can't help, sorry.

9. have to drive kids to school hence cannot ride 

I don't have this problem yet. Will share my solution when I face this and if I have solution. Anyway, I think this is more about balancing the importance of work and family, and between taking care and raising independence of kids.

10. tired after a long day at work

Unless work require a lot of your physical strength, otherwise cycling should be more energizing and relaxing (though don't over do it on roads) than driving and squeezing public transport.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails