A recent study undertaken by the RAC estimated that for the average commuter, travelling by motorbike, instead of car or public transport, can save up to three hours a week. That's six and a half full days every year, or, more importantly, around twenty minutes longer in bed every morning, and twenty minutes earlier home every night!
So why are only around 1% of people commuting by bike?
It's all down to the many misconceptions about commuting by bike.
Advantages of motorcycle commuting
The biggest advantage of commuter bikes is their ability to weave through the ever-increasing congestion on our roads. Add this to exemption from congestion charge in London, from toll charges such as the Mersey Tunnel, and free parking in many public car parks when you get to work, and the advantages are clear.
Most car drivers would cite the disadvantage of not having a warm safety cell, complete with stereo and air conditioning, without ever thinking of the fact that they only need these luxuries because they spend so much time stuck in their cars in the traffic!
Add in the extra cost - around ten times the cost of a commuter moped or bike, and suddenly the car doesn't seem such an obvious choice.
Another disadvantage often cited by car drivers, is the safety issue - and here they may have a point. Bikes often seem to go unseen on our roads. However, here are a few ways you can cut the risks as you ride:
- Anticipate trouble. If you're wary of the way other road users are driving, you can spot trouble well in advance, such as newly parked vehicles opening their doors without looking. Expect the worst and keep alert.
- Make sure you're seen. Don't ride alongside cars in their blind spot, or ride too close behind the vehicle in front. Remember, if you can't see the driver's face in their mirror, they can't see you.
- Avoid weaving in moving traffic. Riding past stationery jams is always satisfying, but if the cars are moving, weaving is simply not worth the risk.
Many of the other cited disadvantages are equally easy to adapt to. For instance, if you cannot carry your briefcase on your bike, keep it at work and invest in panniers to transport your things there and back. You can always transfer your stuff once you arrive. The same is true about your suit. Keep your jacket and smart pants at work and change into them from your leathers. Find yourself a dry cleaners near work and you'll save yourself a weekend job too.
By taking expert advice on the best commuting motorcycle, and taking some practical steps to look after your safety, you can save time, money, and hassle by travelling to work on two wheels instead of four. So beat the queues, beat the congestion blues, and get to work faster by motorbike.