Aotearoa Bike Challenge – Queenstown Wahine tell us Why biking is awesome

Esther Whitehead

Sometimes it just seems too hard to bike to work, but mudguards, pannier bags and wet weather gear clinched the deal for me to commit to biking, over driving or busing.

Here are 7 reasons to love commuting by bike:

1. Swapping the cost of car parking and fuel for a year is more than enough to buy a decent commuter e-bike or regular bike. Admittedly, there is the upfront cost but it pays dividends in no time at all, leaving you to put the savings where you want. I put mine into decent pannier bags and waterproof gear so I can enjoy riding whatever the weather.

2. Arriving on a natural high is a great way to start the day. Clearing your head from work is the best work detox you can have before getting home. It’s low impact, adaptable exercise that burns calories at a rate of 400-750 per hour. It’s clearly good for your physical health but your increased heart rate and all that fresh air also releases the serotonin and dopamine that help your mental health.

3. Get competitive. There’s something particularly satisfying about beating a car that’s started from a similar point. They overtake you, you undertake them, and you reach town before them. Smokin’ them is fun. I tend to ride into town on the road and out of town on the track. No idea why!

4. Our trails are amazing, they’re social and safe. The trail infrastructure here is incredible so make the most of it. Watch fish jump out of the water, listen to the birds, enjoy nature and say Kia ora to passers-by. What’s not to love?

5. Each time you bike, not only does it benefit you, but the world at large. No pollution, no congestion; and you help reduce the need for more roads and car parks to be built.

6. Get your life back. It saves time (It’s quicker for me to e-bike from Frankton to Queenstown than drive). You choose to move at your own pace not at a pace dictated to you.

7. You’ll live longer. (Disclaimer: I am not a doctor). According to research there is less incidence of cardiovascular disease and cancer for those who actively commute.

I get that not everyone lives in Frankton on the commuter trail, and the trails network might not reach your house (yet). All I can say is that for me it was a deliberate decision not to drive to work ever again. Once I’d made that decision I’ve never hesitated, come rain or shine. I hope that you can make it work for you!