We often hear about the massive health benefits that exist for cycling, after all it is much better for your health than driving a car or catching public transport (although PT itself better than driving as people normally need to walk at each end of the journey). Occasionally – but not often enough – we also hear about how cycling can actually be much faster than driving due to the ability to get around congestion much easier. This is even more the case when there are dedicated cycling facilities.Β The videos below are from Australia and show excellently how much faster cycling can be.

The first video is from Melbourne where the person who made it went to the trouble of counting every single car he passed on his journey while deducting any cars that passed him. It is along a main thoroughfare into the city and it is made easier along most of the route by having some form cycle lanes, although as I’m sure our cycling friends will tell us they are quite narrow and not necessarily ideal. In total he passed 589 cars on his journey which is pretty impressive.

The second video comes from Sydney where the rider is travelling down a main arterial that links into Blacktown in Western Sydney (Sunnyholt Rd). This time there are no cycle lanes so you can see how the rider often needs to slow to avoid cars that are very far to the left of the lane. I imagine with some dedicated cycling infrastructure he could be much faster. The only vehicle that is able to catch and pass him is a bus running on an urban busway beside the road (3:40)

Does anyone have any local examples?

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  1. When I first started reading this site I thought cycling was for recreation and people with a death wish, not a viable transport option. Now I have spent the thick end of a couple of grand on a bike and cycle to work, the supermarket and sport. I suspect this blog is really a cult.

  2. I ride from massey to town every day, have to get to work by 8:30, is a 45 minute ride, and leave at 7:30 so have time to freshen up.

    When I need to drive, have to leave at 7:10, just in case as traffic can vary so much.

    Add in the cost savings, health benefits, stress busting and pure joy of riding and I’m hooked,

    Also get to have a quiet giggle every time a colleague comments on how much crap I eat without putting on weight πŸ™‚

    1. Local :
      Onehunga to Parnell – leave house at 7.35 to take train, arrive Newmarket at 8.06; walk to office and arrive 8.29.
      Onehunga to Parnell – leave house on bike at 8.00. Arrive work at 8.20. And i save $4.50 by not walking past any coffee shops on the way ….
      Not local:
      Archway to Bermondsey St, London – 40 minutes tube, plus 10 minutes walk at each end, – 1 hour total.
      Or 35 -40 minutes by bike ( variation allows for up hill all the way home v downhill on the way. I’m ignoring the one time i did it in 22 minutes at about 8am on a sunday morning, when the red lights all seemed to have stopped working )

  3. When I used to cycle Dominion Rd (Roskill Sth – City) around 8am, it wasn’t uncommon to be 150 cars ahead by Valley Rd – yes I’d add and subtract as I went!

  4. Cycle from Milford to Freeman’s Bay.

    From Milford to Devonport is a easy 25 minutes, beating lots of cars when Lake road is busy.

    Then depending on my timing, it is 20 minutes or more sitting on the ferry going slower than I would be cycling.

    From the Ferry Building in town, it’s only about 10 minutes to work (and a shower).

    So overall, not that much slower than a car in peak hour traffic by the time I have to find parking, but slower and more expensive than taking my motorbike.

    Being able to cycle across the bridge would change everything for me. Bring on the Skypath please.

  5. Cycling in unbeatable in the 2-5 km range. Too far to walk too close to drive. My 2 km commute takes me 25 minutes walking, 20 by motorcycle with all the traffic lights and accounting for parking both sides and less than 10 minutes cycling expecially thanks to the shared spaces. That.s half the time no cost no sweat no showers.

  6. “…Being able to cycle across the bridge would change everything for me…”

    Tell me about it! All my friends are moving to the Shore and breeding. It makes visiting them in these wild and far out places (like Northcote) hard on a bike. Bring on the Skypath, please!

  7. Avondale-CBD cycling via western cycleway, ~18mins each way, each day. Add time for a shower & it’s still faster than rush hour driving.
    Saves on gym fees, time, parking, petrol & car costs.
    I can come & go any time I like, and don’t have to wait for the bus.

    1. The time you send showering at work is time you don’t spend showering at home. So don’t add it as extra time associated with commuting by bike.

      In fact i find i shower much faster at work than at home, so that’s extra time saved. Then there’s the power bill saved too.

  8. I ride from St marys bay to Auckland university every day. Takes me about 12 minutes if Im gunning it and 20 if im lazy. Its really busy though, fanshaw and customs street are very dAngerous. One day i know im gna get hit!

  9. The only proof you need that cycling is superior is that I am yet to hear about any community based, volunteer organisation in the Netherlands or Denmark to widen roads, increase traffic speeds and remove cycle infrastructure.

    In almost every other developed country (and many developing) there are many well supported organisations staffed by volunteers giving up their time in order to convince the authorities to narrow roads, decrease traffic speeds and install cycle infrastructure.

    That tells us that once the shift has been made to a cycling culture, noone wants to go back to the “bad old days” of cars dominating the cityscape. Pretty powerful evidence that cycling works and offers many people a superior transport option for .

  10. Some of these stories are an eye-opener – Avondale to CBD in 18mins? I had no idea. Skypath is going to be a game changer too (and not just for Phil’s lawn…)

    1. Okay, 18 minutes is belting it. I take a leisurely 30 minutes from Mt Albert to Newmarket. But I certainly agree with the perception that one can much more depend on how long it will take, and thus, less need to allow for “buffer time” even if one has a fixed meeting.

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