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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Bike Commute Myth Busting

From Competitor Magazine (California), 05.09.07:

The time we waste in traffic every day is astounding. Average one-way commutes in our country are nearing 30 minutes. Only 10 percent of our population uses public transportation, and just 4 percent of us use it for our daily commute. A whopping 84 percent of us drive alone to work.

We've heard the arguments before, but they’re worth repeating: The roads are unsafe for cycling. I don't have showers at work. I have to take the kids to school or daycare on my way to the office. The weather sucks. I don't have any extra time to commit to cycling instead of driving.

So in the spirit of the popular Discovery Channel show, let's deal with the myths, one by one. (Read more.)
This is a great article dispelling the mythical arguments many make about why they can't bicycle to work, especially "The roads are unsafe for cycling": "You've got a better chance of being killed by stabbing (3 to 1) than you do of being killed on your bicycle."

Image: Web capture. Imagine the reaction of Critical Mass-phobic journalists if participants started carrying weapons! Not that I'm advocating that. Yet.
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips


Anonymous said...

That's a funny picture!!! I almost laughed out loud heehee :)

Yokota Fritz said...

I love that image also.

It's nice the author communicates bike commuting to a different audience -- that of exercise enthusiasts. The claim that helmets reduce death rates by 90% exceeds even the ridiculous 85% claim that many helmet advocates use (from a flawed study), which makes me question the 3-to-1 risk of death by stabbing vs cycling. How to you even measure that? Cycling risk is measured in terms of miles or hours of activity. So is the comparison the number of hours you're in a knife fight versus hours bicycling in a bad neighborhood.

And the 40X risk of death in car vs on bike is also out there. The best is about an equal chance on a per-hour basis.