Trail Ramblings: Bikes Can Save Time.

While it’s true Lincoln doesn’t have the same kind of congestion truly big cities have, we have all seen motor traffic become more congested as our population has grown. There are no signs that this will stop anytime soon. So how do we avoid sitting in ever-increasing traffic wait-times? Read on for some ideas. The following comes largely from an October 6, 2023 Forbes article titled “The Humble Bicycle Can Save Us All Time- And How Tech Can Help.
As stated in the article, commuting just one way to work each day by bike cuts your transport-related carbon footprint by 67%, and that opting to ride bikes instead of driving cars cuts emissions much faster than switching to electric cars.
The longer we sit in a car in traffic, the more time we lose. In city centers, bikes are often faster than cars. Many of us find that the car we noticed at a light a while back is not getting through traffic any faster than we are on our bikes. In Lincoln, traffic is obviously not a problem on the same scale as New York. New York City’s Department of Transportation reports that people using a bike-share travel about 30% faster than those in cars. Their state legislators are proposing to make e-bikes more affordable on the grounds that they shorten time in traffic by 30 minutes. Scientific American found that peak rush hour commuting speeds in mph are for Austin- 6, Cincinnati-9, and Los Angeles-8. In New Delhi, it’s 3 mph. Compare that with an average speed for bicycles in Copenhagen of 10 mph, where there’s a lot of bike traffic. And a study in the UK found that Cargo bikes deliver about 60% faster than vans in city centers.

Apart from greater speed and efficiency in city centers, when you think of the time spent working to pay for a car and it’s maintenance, and that of a bicycle, there’s no comparison. This is something called “time hygiene.” At every stage of it’s existence the bicycle is more efficient.
Most of us however, you might argue, don’t live in city centers. What about getting everywhere we need to go? My rule, which has been fairly accurate, is that it takes me roughly twice as long to bike as it would to drive. I figure that time spent bike commuting into my day, saved from time I probably would have been looking for to exercise in. Finally, I don’t see many motorists driving with smiles on their faces, as I usually do while riding my bike, so it’s good for mental health, too.