As it is national bike to work day we’ve decided to look into the benefits of cycling to work rather than driving. There is the obvious health impact it has on the environment but there are also health benefits and cost benefits to swapping the car for a bike.
According to the AA the average cost of running a car per year is €10,671.
To put this into context the CSO states that the average wage in Ireland is €45,611 per annum which would mean close on 23% of your annual wage goes to maintaining your car. This also completely ignores initial investment of purchasing the car.
A bike on the other hand often costs around €300 a year to maintain which is only 0.66% of your annual earnings which is a significant difference. The initial investment is also much lower with a good quality bike costing between €500 – €1000.
It goes without saying that if you’re cycling to and from work every day you are likely to get fitter. The average commute distance to workplaces within city environments is 8km and with the average person burning 50 calories per km cycled it means that you’ll have burnt off 250 of them without ever having stepped foot in a gym.
Avoid the traffic
Although the distances may be shorter to commute within the city the times
definitely are not with Dublin City having an average 29 minute commute but having the shortest distance in the country to commute at 5.88 km. On a bike you don’t have to worry about being stuck in traffic, you can whiz past all the morning commuters stopping at traffic lights and pedestrian crossings of course. Generally, you could cut your morning commute by 10 minutes in areas like Dublin City. Safety first of course. Make sure you are following the rules of the road to protect both yourself and others.
Helping the environment
It comes as no surprise that cars are not that good for the environment with their main source of power coming from burning fossil fuels which affects climate change and creates dirty air. Cars can also have quite an unclean manufacturing process with plastics, metal, leathers and transport required to make them, all taking its toll on the environment.
Bikes also use metal, plastic and leather within the manufacturing process but on a much lower scale which obviously is better for the environment. Also, the only energy required to power bike is your own so there are no nasty fumes being produced.
The government offers a cycle to work scheme that allows you purchase a bike or bicycle equipment up to the value of €1000. If your employer is taking part in the scheme you can head to your local bike shop purchase a bike and allow them to invoice your employer who will then charge you for the cost of the bike/equipment over the course of 12 months. You are not liable to pay any tax on your repayments which is where you save up to 51%.
Find out more here: https://www.biketowork.ie/
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