Car, bus, bike… or something else?

By Anthony Dean, Founder

It was February 2020 and my wife and I were flying back from a business trip to London. The check-in queues at Heathrow were long and meandering but nothing we weren’t used to. Shuffling our way through the jam-packed departure hall, I commented on the amount of people wearing face masks. It was something I had seen regularly when travelling through Asia during the height of the SARS outbreak but not usually, or ever, in London.

Fast forward to 2022 and frequent business travel feels like a lifetime ago. Our main focus now is simply getting around Sydney, to and from the office in particular, which now comes with some extra considerations than we would have had in early 2020.

Option 1: Car

We sold our second car, my work car, during the first lot of pandemic lockdowns because we didn’t need it. Honestly, I am OK with only having one car in the family. We rarely need to head in completely different directions and, when we do, we grab a GoGet or use an Uber. We find this is a much cheaper option than maintaining a second car, especially when the cost of fuel is so high.

It’s unfortunate that a second car is so cost-prohibitive for my daily commute as you really can’t beat the convenience. I live about 15km from work and, on a good day with no traffic, the drive takes me just over half an hour. On the other hand, from an environmental standpoint, good riddance!

Option 2: Public transport

Years ago, before I had work sponsored parking, I would catch buses to work every day. That was great because they dropped me right outside my office building, but the downside was they could be quite unreliable when there was bad weather or traffic. I don’t mind getting caught in the rain or cold but, during a pandemic, I am not sure if public transport is the best option for me, especially when you factor in things like social distancing.

Additionally, I’d now need to get two buses or a bus and a train to get to the office which means the chance of delays or disruptions are effectively doubled. The journey time is also close to an hour which, when you factor in things like wait times for buses/trains, can easily become longer.

Option 3: Bike

Sydney doesn’t have a lot of hills, right? This is what I thought before attempting the ride into the office. Admittedly the hills aren’t huge, and I made it in without any major issues, however, I think I’d need to find an office with better End Of Trip facilities to continue with this option. For the sake of my coworkers if nothing else!

Like many people these days, I am trying to be more conscious of my carbon footprint so I do like the idea of getting to work using ‘pedal power’. It also gives me the flexibility and convenience I enjoyed when driving into the office; without the parking issues and cost to boot. A bit of exercise and fresh air are always good, plus it only takes me 30-35 minutes from door to door. In fine weather, apart from the hills, it’s a no-brainer for me… Bike wins! Except…

Option 3b: E-bike with hill climb assistance

What if I could get all of the good bits of Option 3 without the hill climb pain and sweaty armpits? An e-bike is now a real option for me as more brands and models pop up online and in stores. With e-bike sales increasing by over 400% in the past year, it’s safe to say I’m not the only genius who has had this idea!

The only barrier standing in my way really is my total lack of knowledge and experience with e-bikes that, you know, makes me a little nervous about dropping a couple of thousand dollars while online shopping – completely sober at that! I mean we’re not talking about 80s Airstream Campers here…

Luckily though, I do know a place where I can find real e-bike users to help answer my questions via one-on-one video calls. A place where I can have a real conversation answering my specific questions with someone who isn’t selling anything.

With an extensive range of e-bikes already listed on LOOKB4, I can create my shortlist, speak directly to riders of each make/model and get my questions answered. And so can you!

LOOKB4 is available now

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