Doesn’t biking take twice as long as driving in a car?

Here are the troopers, dressed like pumpkin heads.

A week or so ago I asked for some questions.  And I got a question!  I feel really good about that.

Here is the question: Doesn’t biking take twice as long as driving in a car?

Excellent question!  Here is the answer:

Yes, cycling takes just about twice as long as it would take in a car.  There is really no way to get around it.  For example, if I want to get to work at eight-o-clock, I have to kind of work backwards to figure out what time I need to wake up in the morning by.  Here is an example.

I will need about twenty minutes to get ready, so that puts me pulling up to my office at about 7:40.  And it takes about 30-45 minutes to ride to work, depending on how motivated I am to ride quickly, so that means I need to leave about 6:50 ish.

Getting ready to leave sometimes takes a while as well.  I could prepare beforehand, but I don’t, because I am a little bit lazy, and like to put things off.  Instead I wake up at six to get to work by eight.

Getting home is a bit easier.  If I leave work by five I am usually home by 5:30, or 5:45.  Still, 45 minutes is a bit of a commute.  I justify this to myself that I am getting exercise.  So that when I am home I am home, and I don’t have to go out later to exercise.

Here is a picture I took in Cincinnati. Lots of stairs.

I read somewhere that people who start commuting to work on a bike lose, on average, twelve pounds over a year.  I have always commuted by bike, so I did not realize such a dramatic weight loss.  Instead, I tell myself that if I stop riding a bike to work I will immediately gain twelve pounds of gelatinous fat. It motivates.

Getting groceries takes longer on a bike as well.  Longer to get there, and longer to pack onto a bike.  having a huge cavernous trunk to throw things in is a luxury.  Strapping things onto a bike is quite a bit harder.    It is a balancing act.  And sometimes it is raining.  So you end up looking at the weather to see if you want to go shopping.

And, honestly, less shopping happens.  We have been without a car for about seven months now, and sometimes we just don’t have a lot of food in the house.  I mean, we have plenty of food, but nothing that is easy to prepare.  All the easy to prepare food goes fast, in the first couple of days, and then you are left with stuff that you have to cook before you eat.  Potatoes and carrots.  Whole wheat flour.  Lettuces.  Stuff like that.

So, short answer, yes.  Lots of stuff takes quite a bit longer to do.  But you can justify it in your mind pretty well, and you end up losing twelve pounds over a year.


3 thoughts on “Doesn’t biking take twice as long as driving in a car?”

  1. Very helpful answer. I realize now that I've been underestimating the amount of time it takes to bike to/change for work and end up scrambling and stressed. Repeatedly. Now I'll thoughtfully work backwards the way you did. Thank you!

  2. It also depends on the routes you take and how far you have to go and the normal traffic you face when driving. Where I live to get to my normal places it takes about a third of the time longer to get there. I think the twice as long comes into play when you are de-clothing and locking your bike up. Way easier to just open the door and step out.

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