The hassle of cycling versus the hassle of driving

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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horizon
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The hassle of cycling versus the hassle of driving

Postby horizon » 4 Sep 2016, 12:54am

I think it's generally considered more hassle to get on a bike (lights, clothing, panniers, lock etc) than to jump in the car and turn the key. But the less I drive (it's down to four or five times a year now), the more of a hassle I find it than just getting my usual stuff together and setting off on the bike. A whole load of things go through my head such as, is there petrol, is the insurance still valid, where will I park, will it start and so on.

But what I've wondered is whether the key factor is indeed the relative actual hassle of the two modes or just the familiarity and preparedness of your regular choice. My conclusion at the moment is that it's the latter.
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SpannerGeek
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Re: The hassle of cycling versus the hassle of driving

Postby SpannerGeek » 4 Sep 2016, 7:28am

horizon wrote:I think it's generally considered more hassle to get on a bike (lights, clothing, panniers, lock etc) than to jump in the car and turn the key. But the less I drive (it's down to four or five times a year now), the more of a hassle I find it than just getting my usual stuff together and setting off on the bike. A whole load of things go through my head such as, is there petrol, is the insurance still valid, where will I park, will it start and so on.

But what I've wondered is whether the key factor is indeed the relative actual hassle of the two modes or just the familiarity and preparedness of your regular choice. My conclusion at the moment is that it's the latter.


During the summer I've pretty much used my bike exclusively for travel. I normally wear my normal clothes for commuting, no need for lights, I don't carry bags only a spare tube, and I take my bike EVERYWHERE! I take it into the bank, the supermarket, the library ect. This used to be a problem, but I've noticed the more you do it, the more people are habituated to it and they just accept the bike goes everywhere I do.

On the rare occasions I am challenged (usually by a jobsworth security guard), my normal response is 'it's worth £2k, do you want to be personally responsible in a legal action for its loss, because it's your job to secure this site?' is 'take it with you then, but hurry up!'
Last edited by SpannerGeek on 4 Sep 2016, 8:10am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The hassle of cycling versus the hassle of driving

Postby Vorpal » 4 Sep 2016, 8:06am

It depends...

It's certainly quicker for me to drive to work than to cycle. Cycling takes twice as long, and public transport half again longer than cycling.

Going home is usually quicker driving, but not by much, and if there is any congestion (almost always, on Friday afternoons), cycling is at least as quick as driving.

On Wednesday afternoons, Littlest has a music lessons in the town centre, and we have to travel at peak times. Even though it is certainly more hassle to get ready (we need the bike trailer to take his intrument), it takes half as much time to go by bike because of the traffic.

As for getting ready? Well, it pretty much always a bit more hassle to take the bike, unless I'm just popping round the shops or something. But I don't generally need to check insurance and stuff like that before driving.

Yesterday, I took the kids to a theme park (it was a trip with my Mini V's school band), and I had to go get fuel for the car before we left, which was kind of a hassle.

The biggest hassle to me, driving, is route finding. I tend to learn places by cycling, and I can't always drive where I cycle; even when I can, the best route cycling is not often the same as the best route driving.

Places like London and Oslo, if I can't cycle, I usually use public transport because between traffic and way-finding I find driving there so very frustrating.
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Re: The hassle of cycling versus the hassle of driving

Postby tatanab » 4 Sep 2016, 8:47am

Hassle of driving - other than parking etc - I use a car so seldom that I should check tyre pressures every time I take it out.
Hassle of cycling - which machine will I use? Some have not moved in over a year so I have the same hassle as driving - pumping tyres, moving the saddlebag. Generally I just use the "hack" which is ready to go with lights and bag with tools and waterproofs.
A trip into the town shops is a 4 mile round trip and I cannot be bothered with getting a bike out let alone the car, so I simply walk. That means I have to put up with the hassle of which coat to wear, shoes or boots in the winter, do I need to take a hat.

Too many choices; it is simpler to stay at home.

reohn2
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Re: The hassle of cycling versus the hassle of driving

Postby reohn2 » 4 Sep 2016, 9:12am

The car is more convenient but takes longer for short <3miles due to traffic,<5miles can be more convenient depending on time of day due to traffic and where I'm going.
>10miles the car is far more convenient.
For pleasure the bike beats driving hands down.
With the traffic where I live,I pity people who have to commute longer distances than say 5miles.
Last edited by reohn2 on 4 Sep 2016, 9:31am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The hassle of cycling versus the hassle of driving

Postby bovlomov » 4 Sep 2016, 9:20am

I don't drive, so it's not a choice. But between public transport and bike, it's like this: I never finish a bike journey wishing I'd gone by bus or train instead, but I've often finished a bus or train journey wishing I'd done it by bike.

But then , I'm at the edge of London. Getting to central London takes about the same time by tube or bike. Bike's cheaper.

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Re: The hassle of cycling versus the hassle of driving

Postby al_yrpal » 4 Sep 2016, 10:31am

Neither is hassle. A change of shoes and donning a high vis tabard or jacket, helmet and gloves for cycling. The most hassle free is the bus. It's free for me, no parking fees, no security fears in town like with a bike. Car only gets used for long distances or when buying and transporting heavy or awkward items like plants etc. Allotment visits are normally on the bike except when carrying tools and oodles of produce. The last week has been spent in our sons brilliant vintage Hymer Campervan visiting daughter in Devon and a music festival.

Al
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Re: The hassle of cycling versus the hassle of driving

Postby MikeF » 4 Sep 2016, 10:38am

reohn2 wrote:The car is more convenient but takes longer for short <3miles due to traffic,<5miles can be more convenient depending on time of day due to traffic and where I'm going.
>10miles the car is far more convenient.
For pleasure the bike beats driving hands down.
With the traffic where I live, I pity people who have to commute longer distances than say 5miles.
In general I agree. Bike beats car and walking for short journeys. However I make a journey of about 12.5 miles (by bike) each way usually once a month to visit friends. I normally cycle although if it's torrential rain, thick fog, or icy I drive. I could also use the bus, but the journey takes 1 hour, which if I take into account walking to the bus stop and waiting, is longer than by bike. Car is quickest, but I have the hassle of parking which can be a problem and also there is also the problem of having a drink. The pub is the only one I know that has installed bike racks outside. Was it the result of my cycling?? :D
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Re: The hassle of cycling versus the hassle of driving

Postby fastpedaller » 4 Sep 2016, 10:49am

Imagine what it used to be like in the old days before our convenient transport..... saddle up the horse or walk everywhere!

Do you really take your bike into the supermarket (ie the shop, not the car parking area)??

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Re: The hassle of cycling versus the hassle of driving

Postby bohrsatom » 4 Sep 2016, 10:50am

Obviously it depends how far you are travelling, but this is a good example of why most bikes sold in the UK aren't fit for purpose for utility cycling. In Holland/Copenhagen this extra hassle simply doesn't exist:

Lights - most bikes have dynamo lighting of some kind. If not, lights powered by magnets which are permanently attached and no need for batteries/charging/etc
Bags - Either a permanently attached rear pannier or front basket (I especially like the heavy duty plastic crates)
Lock - an attached rear wheel lock (and maybe an extra heavy duty cable depending which city you are riding in!)
Clothes - just wear what you want to wear when you arrive at your destination

All this means you never have to think before taking your bike to town. Just hop on and ride.

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Re: The hassle of cycling versus the hassle of driving

Postby Vorpal » 4 Sep 2016, 11:02am

bovlomov wrote:I don't drive, so it's not a choice. But between public transport and bike, it's like this: I never finish a bike journey wishing I'd gone by bus or train instead, but I've often finished a bus or train journey wishing I'd done it by bike.

+1 and the same goes for driving. I have on a number of occasions, driven somewhere for convenience, or even because I had to (have to go someplace afterwork that I can't get to in time by bike, for example), and wished that I had (been able to) cycled.
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Re: The hassle of cycling versus the hassle of driving

Postby axel_knutt » 4 Sep 2016, 11:43am

Walk.

Just grab your coat and walk out of the door. No need to change, no need to stop at every traffic light, no need to go all round the one way system, no need to find somewhere to park and lock the bike, no bike to get stolen or vandalised, no need to swap all the shopping from the carrier bags into the panniers.
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Re: The hassle of cycling versus the hassle of driving

Postby reohn2 » 4 Sep 2016, 11:51am

bohrsatom wrote:Obviously it depends how far you are travelling, but this is a good example of why most bikes sold in the UK aren't fit for purpose for utility cycling. In Holland/Copenhagen this extra hassle simply doesn't exist:

Lights - most bikes have dynamo lighting of some kind. If not, lights powered by magnets which are permanently attached and no need for batteries/charging/etc
Bags - Either a permanently attached rear pannier or front basket (I especially like the heavy duty plastic crates)
Lock - an attached rear wheel lock (and maybe an extra heavy duty cable depending which city you are riding in!)
Clothes - just wear what you want to wear when you arrive at your destination

All this means you never have to think before taking your bike to town. Just hop on and ride.


NL also have the infrastructure and,due to widespread bike use,sympathy for the bike.
It's integrated into society not seen as some oddball activity carried out by weird yogurt knitting,tree huggers or lycra wearing speed freak freeloaders,with no rights and who shouldn't be there,etc,etc,which of course isn't the opinion of all,but a significant enough minority to make life unpleasant for UK cyclists who don't have a thick enough skin.
UK society generally has a really weird outlook where cycling is concerned.....
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Re: The hassle of cycling versus the hassle of driving

Postby reohn2 » 4 Sep 2016, 11:58am

axel_knutt wrote:Walk.

Just grab your coat and walk out of the door. No need to change, no need to stop at every traffic light, no need to go all round the one way system, no need to find somewhere to park and lock the bike, no bike to get stolen or vandalised, no need to swap all the shopping from the carrier bags into the panniers.

That depends on distance involved*,some people can't walk far but can cycle much further,the bike can carry much more than a person could carry and for further,multiply that by a ten or twenty and you're into car world or public transport.

*Due to an Arthritic hip I can walk no more than a mile or two at most,and would struggle doing that carrying two shopping bags.On the bike I can happily ride twenty or thirty miles with a much heavier load.
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Re: The hassle of cycling versus the hassle of driving

Postby mjr » 4 Sep 2016, 4:24pm

horizon wrote:I think it's generally considered more hassle to get on a bike (lights, clothing, panniers, lock etc) than to jump in the car and turn the key. But the less I drive (it's down to four or five times a year now), the more of a hassle I find it than just getting my usual stuff together and setting off on the bike. A whole load of things go through my head such as, is there petrol, is the insurance still valid, where will I park, will it start and so on.

Neither are that much hassle setting off for me. I unplug the trickle charger (we drive little enough we've had trouble with self-discharge leaving us with no ignition), change the rear setup to van if needed, adjust the seat and control positions and drive... or I put gloves and glasses on (not essential but nice), attach whatever bags/baskets I want and ride. Lights are permanent dynamo ones, clothes are everyday, I could fix the panniers permanently but they are a bit sail-like in winds so I remove them when not needed, and locks are usually with the bags.

It's at the destination where the bike usually wins as less hassle: park closer, usually free, no worrying about valuables on show, less worry about fuel or potential costs if damaged.
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