The proof; bike beats car

There are currently 227 teams with Slovenian employees riding a bike to work for the Bring Happiness to Work Pripelji sreco v sluzbo bike campaign. This campaign is supported by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Slovenia and is part of Cycling Festival Europe.

Although the cycling infrastructure in Ljubljana is far from ideal, the bike is in many cases the best means of transport to work. In this previous article you will find many reasons why: Biking to work makes you smart, happy and healthy

In the article you can read that for trips up to five kilometres in the city, the bike is also the fastest means of transport. But is this really true? There is only one way to find out; to try it.

The challenge

For the test I traveled from home in Vic to the Delo building along Dunajska Cesta. It’s a distance of 3 kilometres, from the western part of Ljubljana to just north of the centre. By car the journey goes almost all the way over two lane main roads past the centre of Ljubljana. By bike you ride through the centre, all the way over bike paths.

Travelling by car (left) and by bike (right) is a world of difference. In the car I didn’t smell the mowed grass nor did I hear the birds singing. The car is a cocoon. Once the doors close you are not part anymore of the world you are travelling through.

The number of traffic lights you pass on the bike (left) and in the car is the same. But on the bike you are standing always in front. Notice also how much nicer everything looks seen from the bike.

The bike is becoming more popular in Ljubljana. Part of Slovenska Cesta is now closed for motorized traffic (except public transport and cars with permission). It would be great to see this at more places in the city. A street without cars looks so much better than a street with cars.

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The biggest time loss when travelling by car in the city comes from parking. To reach the building I had to make a circle to reach the streets where parking is possible. I was lucky finding an empty place (paid parking) at once. Normally it can take a while. After parking I still had to walk.

The result: Travel time by bike: 12 minutes and 45 seconds. Time by car: 15 minutes and 27 seconds.

It’s a clear win for the bike. You can drink a cup of coffee before the car arrives. What I also noticed: the bike is not just because of speed the better option. It is also much easier. You don’t have any of the stress congested traffic can give you and no worries about finding a parking place. And last but not least, a bike ride is much more inspirational than a drive by car. If only to hear the birds sing and smell the grass.

 

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