The Impressive Benefits of Riding to Work in Brisbane

Some people ride to work just because it’s fun, but it provides so many other benefits, like increased wellbeing and convenience… And get this, it can reduce your risk of developing heart disease by almost half!

That’s pretty amazing…

But if you need more than just fun to get you on your bike, these impressive benefits are sure to get you cycling to work in Brisbane in no time.

Benefits of cycling to work infographic

Source – Queensland Government

Experience the outdoors: Brisbane is a beautiful city and enjoys wonderful weather all year round, but for the majority of us, working means 8 hours stuck inside a building. Riding to work allows you to get out and experience the outdoors and feel more alive. That’s extremely beneficial.

Improves overall physical health and fitness: Riding is a great aerobic activity, giving your lungs, blood vessels and heart a workout. It also offers other health benefits, including:

    • Improved joint mobility
    • Stronger bones
    • Increased cardiovascular fitness
    • Stronger heart muscles
    • Reduced resting pulse rate
    • Lower blood fat levels

As a result of these health benefits, cycling lowers your health risks: Research has found that riding to work can lower the risk of various health problems including heart disease and cancer. 

Improves strength: Cycling improves muscle strength, coordination and balance, and because it’s a low impact activity, it’s great for people with joint issues such as osteoarthritis. Allowing them to keep active without doing damage.

Supports positive mental health: Mensline Australia promotes cycling as one of the best exercise activities for positive mental health. Cycling offers exercise and exposure to the outdoors, this combination is especially beneficial in:

    • Improving mood due to the fun and wellbeing created from cycling, also known as the ‘cycling high’.
    • Better sleep. We all sleep a little better when we exercise regularly.
    • Improves memory by building new brain cells.
    • Promoting a new way of thinking which increase the feeling of wellbeing.

Time-saving: We all hate wasting time sitting in peak hour traffic. Riding to work avoids all that, it’s predictable, you reach your destination in the same amount of time every day. And for distances of under 5km, cycling can even be quicker than by car.

Money-saving: It’s easy to see that it’s much cheaper to buy and maintain a bicycle than a car. It also saves transport costs, riding a bicycle 10km each way to work each day will save about $1,700 per year in transport costs (including all running costs and depreciation)” – Queensland Government. 

Riding to work a couple of times a week provides all the exercise you need, so there’s no need to spend money on the gym.

Environmentally friendly: Requiring no petrol and producing no harmful emissions, cycling to work is a great way to do your bit for the environment.

If you’ve ever wanted to ride to work in Brisbane, this list of impressive benefits should give you the push needed to take the next steps and start seriously considering riding to work.

And if you’re wondering about bike storage options in Brisbane, contact the team at cycle2city, we have wonderful facilities right in the heart of Brisbane. Get in touch or GRAB A FREE 7 DAY TRIAL.


Don’t Try Riding To Work Without Reading This First

So you’ve seen them riding to work, and you want desperately to be one: the content cyclists, cruising past traffic and happily getting to work on time and getting fit at the same time.

They’re not at the mercy of the bus that may or may not show up, or stuck in time zapping traffic. They know when they cycle to work it takes the exact same time each day.

But before you get on your bike and join them, here’s a few key points that will make your first ride to work all the better:

Commute to work safely:

Safety is a major concern when cycling to work, but there are plenty of things you can do to make it safer for yourself, these include:

  • Stay alert
  • Know the cycling road rules for your state
  • Avoid busy roads
  • Take the bike path if possible, even if it’s a little longer
  • Take your time
  • Wear bright, highly visible clothing
  • Make eye contact with drivers and pedestrians
  • Be aware of vehicle blind spots
  • Maintain a roadworthy bike

Don’t go too hard too soon:

For a short ride, you could ride to and from work straight up. But as with anything, it’s a good idea to start out slow when riding to work for the first time….

Totally wasting yourself on your first day will only put you off ever riding again, and you’ll likely be unable to move properly for the next few days.

For longer commutes of 45 – 60 minutes, think about riding one way for the first day and building up your rides as you become fitter. Another option is to drive some of the way, park, and cycle the rest, making the ride more doable.

Wear bike pants:

You’ve seen them, those baggy bottomed pants cyclist wear…

Consider getting some!

There are plenty of stylish options out there and they’ll really make your ride much more comfortable.

Do a test ride:

Getting to know the route you’ll take to work ahead of the big day, will remove the fear of the unknown and provide confidence. 

If you don’t have the option to store your bike in your office or building, you can also test out where you’ll park your bike. Or you could look into ‘end of trip’ bike facilities like those offered by cycle2city in Brisbane. These facilities can make your ride absolutely hassle-free.  

Now you’re equipped with a little more knowledge to make your first ride to work a pleasure. For a deeper look at preparing to ride to work, check out our recent blog.

If you’re considering riding to work in Brisbane, contact the team at cycle2city, we have wonderful bike storage facilities right in the heart of Brisbane. Get in touch or GRAB A FREE 7 DAY TRIAL.

 


8 Things to Consider Before You Ride To Work

So, you’re thinking about riding to work…

You’d love to whizz past the traffic and people waiting at the bus stop, happy in the knowledge there’s nothing slowing you down on your way to work. Or perhaps you’re keen to get fit without spending hours at the gym each week. 

There are so many benefits to riding to work, even if it’s just a few times a week…

But before you get on your bike and start pedalling to work, it’s important to stop and get prepared. This article lists 8 things to consider before you ride to work.

Level of fitness:

The health benefits of cycling are well known and it may be the main reason you’re interested in riding to work. Cycling suits any level of fitness, and it’s important to know your limits when first starting out. You don’t want to go too hard too soon and end up hurting yourself. 

Equipment:

Cycling is pretty simple, the necessities are a bike and a helmet. But there is more to consider to remain safe while cycling, such as:

  • A bike that is set-up for your body size is ideal
  • Bicycle lock
  • Correctly fitting helmet, it’s illegal to ride without one
  • Front and rear lights for riding at night
  • Well maintained brakes and chain 
  • Spare tube & well-equipped tool bag
  • Comfortable seat
  • Panniers to carry things if needed, but a backpack is fine

Plan your ride:

The aim here is to avoid heavy, fast traffic and narrow roads and to work out which route suits your level of fitness and time constraints. You can access bikeway and ride information from your local council and online. Ask other cyclists for route information and consider taking a test ride on the weekend. If you live further away from work, consider driving part of the way and riding from a distance that you’re comfortable with.

Safety:

This is the number one consideration when cycling. Here are some tips to protect yourself when riding to work:

  • Remain alert
  • Wear a helmet
  • Dress to be seen, fluorescent colours are great
  • Be prepared for the weather
  • Use rearview mirrors
  • Avoid fast or heavy traffic areas and narrow roads
  • Ride with traffic, never against it
  • Follow the road rules
  • Use signals
  • Don’t be in a rush

What to wear:

You can ride in work clothes, change at work or use end-of-trip facilities, such as city2cycle in the heart of Brisbane. Unrestrictive, light, and comfortable clothing are ideal and bright colours for maximum visibility are wise. 

How to carry your stuff:

For light loads, a backpack or bike basket is fine, but for heavier items panniers (bags secured to the sides of bikes) are perfect

Where to store your bike:

Depending on your situation, there are a few options for the safe storage of your bike at your place of work or nearby. These include:

  • Inside the office, ask the boss first
  • Lock your bike on the street. This is not ideal because of the possibility of theft, not only of your bike but of the accessories attached to it. A good bike lock is important.
  • End of trip cycling facilities where for a fee you not only can store your bike but can have a shower, store shoes and clothes in a locker and even get your bike serviced while you’re at work.
  • Bike storage parking where you rent a space to store your bicycle safely undercover.

Looking fresh for the office: 

Sweat patches and helmet hair are not a good look at work, but these things are easily avoided by a bit of planning. Here a few tips to look your best after a ride to work:

  • Become a member of an end of trip cycling facility near work like cycle2city in Brisbane. Where you can safely store your bike and then spruce up for work using their showers, towels, lockers and even blow dryers.
  • Pack a comb and gel or dry shampoo to easily remove the helmet hair look
  • Freshen up using face or body wipes, they remove dirt and sweat in a flash.
  • Avoid wearing makeup on your ride and apply when you arrive at work
  • Avoid using a backpack as this often ends in a sweaty back

There are so many benefits of cycling to work, and by considering these 8 things before you get on your bike your commute will be all the better.

If you’re wondering about bike storage options in Brisbane, contact the team at cycle2city, we have wonderful facilities right in the heart of Brisbane in King George Square. Get in touch or GRAB A FREE 7 DAY TRIAL.


Become a Better Cyclist: Is HIIT or LISS the Best Way to Get in Shape?

In this blog we will take a closer look at two of the most dominant forms of cardio: HIIT and LISS. What do the acronyms mean, why should you do them, and which is better for getting in shape?

What is HIIT?

HIIT is an acronym for High Intensity Interval Training. As the name implies, HIIT revolves around doing cycles of high intensity – typically around 90-95% effort or heart rate – followed by short rest periods.

Sprints (on foot or on your bike), swimming and rowing can all be excellent HIIT exercises. It can be configured in a number of different ways, with one of the more common options being four intervals of 4 minutes broken up by two minutes of active rest between. Going for shorter and more intense cycles is also possible, where 1:20 of intense effort followed by 40 seconds of rest is popular.

HIIT’s leads to short, but intense workouts that can be completed in 20 minutes or less. It will greatly increase your stamina, and the intense effort will be very demanding for your muscles. Don’t be surprised if your legs feel like jell-o for a couple of days afterwards!

What is LISS?

LISS, the acronym for Low Intensity Steady State, is opposite HIIT on the cardio spectrum, and it is a far more common way of exercising.

Less physically taxing than its above counterpart, LISS involves steady exertion over a longer period of time, usually somewhere around 40-65% of your heart rate. This is how our wonderful members commute to work, and can also be done through brisk walking, jogging and swimming.

You typically won’t have periods of rest when doing a LISS workout (though there’s nothing wrong with that), and it can last for as short as 30 minutes and as long as several hours. LISS will burn more calories than HIIT due to lasting much longer, but will be less efficient in increasing your maximal oxygen uptake.

Is HIIT or LISS the Best Way to Get in Shape?

The two are often seen as diametrically opposed training styles. In reality, the fact that they have different strengths and weaknesses means that they complement each other very will. Doing both will likely be better for you than doing just one.

During aerobic training such as LISS, the intensity is low enough that oxygen is constantly available to your muscles. HIIT and other anaerobic exercise is performed at a high enough level of intensity that the body relies on additional energy stores like ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and glycogen to fuel the body instead of just oxygen.

Doing HIIT workouts and pushing into your body’s red zone, so to speak, will increase your VO2 max, your maximal oxygen uptake. Both exercise styles will burn calories and fat, and help maintain a healthy heart and strong muscles.

In the end, the only “best” way to get in shape is to find a form of exercise that you enjoy enough that you will stick to it and continue doing it! For most people, it is irrelevant that HIIT is better at increasing your VO2 max. The most important thing you can do is choosing a form of cardio that you enjoy.

It simply doesn’t matter how optimal a workout is if you don’t do it. So go ahead and enjoy your rides and workouts, however you personally prefer doing them!

Are you cycling to work or thinking of starting? Our state of the art facilities offer more than 400 bike parking spaces utilising the latest German engineering, secure personal lockers, plenty of showers, on-site bicycle repairs and valet laundry service, all on King George Square in the heart of Brisbane CBD!

Learn more about our wonderful amenities on our website or book a free 7-day trial to try it yourself!

This blog is a part of our Become a Better Cyclist series. You can find the previous entries here:

 

 

 

This blog does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the cycle2city blog. Consult your GP before making changes to your exercise regimen or diet.


Let Lockdowns be the Catalyst for Positive Change

With strict restrictions in place for many weeks, traffic in Brisbane has been drastically reduced. Rush hour now sees far smaller traffic peaks, and congestion is virtually non-existent compared to what it was like two months ago.

Non-essential workers are either working or staying at home, and many are getting a feel for cabin fever for the first time. One positive thing that’s come out of our collective lockdown is that people are going outside and enjoying their local footpaths and bikeways. But that presents its own challenges!

Recommended: Number of Bicycle Thefts Increases Alongside Number of Cyclists

Let’s just say that Brisbane’s cycling infrastructure still has room for improvement, especially in the CBD. Bikeways aren’t exactly available everywhere, and footpaths are often not in the best of shape. The number of bike lanes have definitely increased over the last few years, but we still have a way to go. In fact, both Melbourne and Sydney were ranked in the top 40 cycling cities in the world for 2019, but Brisbane is nowhere to be found on the list.

Brisbane City Council have spent years and millions of dollars improving and expanding a road network that is currently under capacity while pleas for improving city cycling have largely fallen on deaf ears.

Even now, the Lord Mayor is fast tracking $350 millions worth of road projects. In other major cities around the world, they are taking advantage of the decreased city traffic and are closing streets, implementing lower speed limits, and building dedicated bike lanes. Cities like Paris, Milano, Manchester, New York and Berlin are giving city roads back to their people.

It feels like the tide was turning. Our devastating bushfires increased the public awareness of the climate crisis, and the fact that we need to take action now. With traffic levels lower than in decades, this would be the perfect opportunity to pivot towards making Brisbane city green.

Over 100 Australian health and transport experts have published an open letter that calls for the government to enact urgent measures to support safe walking and cycling during our current pandemic.

Our narrow footpaths and limited bikeways make it nearly impossible to maintain social distancing, and it is putting us all at risk – especially now that there are more people out walking and cycling than ever before!

If you want to read the open letter, you can find that here in full.
You can support this national campaign by signing the petition on change.org.


Our 7 Top Tips for Cycling in the Rain

It’s that time of the year in Brisbane. Days of high heat, followed by days of suffocating humidity, followed by days of torrential downpour. It’s a familiar cycle for anyone who has spent more than one summer in Brissy.

Can you still ride your bike on rainy days in Brisbane? Absolutely! In fact, the cool change can be very welcome at times. But there are some modifications you should consider making, and we’ve tried to compress our top tips for wet weather riding into this blog post!

1. Lights (camera and action optional)

Lights are always important, but they are rarely more important than in the rain. Not only is it darker because it’s overcast, but drivers in cars have worse visibility in the rain. Making sure you are visible to everyone on the road needs to be your number one priority in the rain. Speaking of…

2. Waterproof hi-vis jacket

Your jacket should probably stay true to the ethos of keeping you seen and keeping you alive. Bright fluorescent colours will do wonders for that.

Your jacket should also be waterproof. As most experienced cyclists will know, the combination of windchill and being soaking wet is gruelling, and should be avoided if you can. Remember, though, that your waterproof jacket needs to have adequate ventilation because riding in the equivalent of a plastic bag is also a terrible experience.

3. Overshoes, gloves and a cap

When riding in cold conditions, it’s important that we do our best to cover and protect extremities because they will be affected first and worst. That means feet, hands and head.

Water resistant overshoes will keep your feet dry while you push pedals in the rain, and are a godsend. Waterproof gloves are also great, and will add a layer of protection from the windchill of the lowered temperatures.

The vents on your helmet are invaluable during scorching Brisbane summer days…. During those infamous afternoon storms? Not so much. Simply adding a cycling cap will keep most of the windchill off you. Plus, the peak should give your eyes some protection from rain droplets.

4. Wear glasses

Apropos protecting your eyes from the rain! The roads are slippery, cars seem less trustworthy, and the last thing you want is to get hit in the eye by a big raindrop. Dark glasses aren’t a good choice when it rains, so you should opt for clear or yellow lenses.

Water and droplets collecting on your lenses are also problematic, and many people avoid glasses for this reason, but you should know that there are hydrophobic sprays that treat your lenses and help you avoid this entirely!

5. Lower your tyre pressure

Riding in wet conditions means that you need to worry about your road grip, especially if it’s the first rain in weeks, as if often the case in Brisbane. Oils that have been building up in cracks of the road surface for a long time will be lifted up by rainwater, and will now be on your tyres and in your path. Not to mention, the wet is slippery in itself!

Lower your tyre pressure to give yourself a larger contact surface with the road and improve your grip. Some cyclists lower their tyre pressure by as much as 10-15 psi, but you should find what you’re comfortable with. You’ll be less efficient, but more safe. Ultimately, that seems like a good trade-off to us.

6. Avoid white lines

Many of you may have been unfortunate enough to experience how slippery the white lane markings can be in the dry, and they are even more dangerous in the wet.

Take extra care to be aware of the white lines, and try to avoid them if possible – especially on corners or zebra crossings.

7. Slow down and ride to conditions (and avoid puddles)

Riding in wet conditions isn’t inherently dangerous, it just carries more risk than perfect weather. Knowing this is half the battle, and changing your riding to suit the conditions is the other half. In general, it’s smart to slow down and take it easy. Now is not the time to push for a PB on your favourite route. Taking corners more slowly, as mentioned above, is very important. You should also take extra care to slow down if you’re on a route you’re not familiar with.

If at all possible, you should avoid puddles. Not just because they’ll splash you with dirty water, but more importantly because you have no way of knowing what hides underneath the surface.

We can all imagine what could happen if you ride into a deep pothole or a puddle hiding a big rock going at 40 km/h.