Cycling: The Safer Travel Alternative?

01/06/2020

Cycling: The Safer Travel Alternative?

With the world slowly starting to escape the clutches of COVID-19 people are already beginning to talk about what changes can be made, or should be made, to ensure people are as safe as possible during both holiday travel and their daily travel schedules, too.

Along with walking, cycling has been highlighted as one of the few positive alternative solutions to a return to overcrowded, unhygienic and now unsafe buses and trains people use every day to travel to their place of work, their home, to visit friends, family and otherwise.

In fact, it was recently revealed in a piece in the Oxford Mail that Oxfordshire will receive £597,000 in funding in a bid to make transport safer. This included the widening of cycle lanes; A move many people hope will be made permanent.

With this in mind, here are just a few reasons why cycling is the safer travel alternative in these unnerving times, and why you might want to consider swapping your bus pass for a pair of wheels full-time: 

Social Distancing

The obvious point of the bunch, and the whole reason this argument was raised in the first place.

When traveling to work through traditional means of public transport, social distancing is a virtual impossibility. Yes, alterations can be made to the current state of things, like only allowing a certain number of people on a bus or train or tram at a certain time, or forcing people in carriages to stay a particular distance apart, but all of this will do nothing to solve the fact that people will still feel incredibly trapped and uneasy having to travel in such close vicinities with others.

Cycling offers a much more socially-distant alternative. If anything, cycling was already way ahead when it came to solving the issue of socially-distant transport! It’s you and you alone behind the handlebars, zooming your way past anybody and anything else that might offer even the slightest threat of catching the coronavirus, or any other nasty diseases.

Speaking of which...

Your own transport vs Public transport

Cycling is a one-person game; Unless you’ve got a bike that’s been specifically altered to allow more than one person to ride at once, you’ll be the only person making use of it as you travel to work. The same cannot be said for public transport, which not only acts as a potential multiple-infected people carrier, but also doesn’t allow much in the way of ventilation allowing any unwanted airborne germs to escape before they land on some poor unwitting soul.

This is non-existent if you cycle to work. At worst, you might have to put up with the odd pedestrian getting a bit too close when you’re stopped at a traffic light, but beyond this, you’re in the open, fresh air and are the captain of your own ship, with not a coronavirus-risk in sight.

Beat the traffic

It might not be directly related to COVID-19, but cycling is still alternative than driving in a lot of traffic-heavy situations.

Some statistics have even shown that you’re much more likely to crash your car into the back of another vehicle when traffic is at its highest. With such small movements happening continuously, this is very understandable. Whereas, us cyclists can simply (and safely, if we stay alert) glide our way through any built-up traffic without the need to stop. This is especially handy if we have our own cycle lanes available.

But, from a COVID-19 standpoint, if you’re more concerned about the amount of time you need to spend out of your home or your place of work when on your travels (the logic being the longer you spend out the more likely you may be to come across the virus) if traffic is a regular occurrence then cycling might be your best bet of reaching your desired destination in the least amount of time.

Eco friendly

Thanks to the grounding of most flights, halting of trains and stopping of motor vehicles due to the virus, we’ve seen a dramatic decrease in the amount of carbon emissions in the air and the very early signs that our overall environmental health is improving.

However, all this work (what little we needed to actually do!) will be undone the second everybody is sent back to work and the roads and skies become crammed once again. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t look at the improvements we’ve seen in the environment and make a conscious effort to do something about it.

If you’ve been considering swapping your four wheels for two and want to start cycling to work, there’s literally never been a better time to start. From a safety standpoint and from an environmental standpoint, if more people like you choose to cycle to and from work rather than your traditional transportation method you’ll not only be helping the environment but might actually help reduce the spread of the coronavirus at the same time. Talk about two massive birds for one stone!

Remember: By the numbers, one person carrying the coronavirus (whether they’re showing symptoms or not) will on average pass the virus to three other people. This is the reason the virus has been able to multiply and spread at the ridiculous rate it has and it’s also why cycling to and from work instead of using public transport like a bus or a train is not only the smart thing to do, it’s the moral thing to do, if you can.

Oh and, of course, it’s the far healthier option too!

Here at Freewheel Holidays we can’t wait for the day we’re able to take you on some of the most stunning and exciting cycling holidays money can buy. But, until then, stay tuned to @FreewheelHols for any updates we might have about our cycling holidays and cycling news in general.