Would you believe that in Helsinki it is actually quite often faster to drive bicycle from one place to another – than use public transportation?
Naturally bicycle loses in trips where busses drive just motorways or if you go from one metro stop to another, but as soon as you need to switch busses, use tram and a bus, or wait and walk few minutes – then bicycle catches up quickly. I made this realization some time ago as I checked how much time my different work routes have taken with public transportation – and how much do they take with a bike.
From Puotila to Arabianranta it took about 30 minutes by metro and tram – give or take some minutes depending on the traffic and whether I made it to the specific metro and tram. Bicycle was constantly at around 30 minutes from door to door.
My current office is at Pitäjänmäki and depending on time of the day, walking and taking a bus to the office takes 40 – 55 minutes — longest time in the morning rush hour traffic. Taking a bike should move me to work in 50 to 55 minutes.
Yesterday I drove from home to Meilahti hospital area and back – and compared the time to results from public transportation. 45 minutes with a bike in a rain, versus 48 minutes by metro and a bus.
All and all driving a bike can be a really smart choice in Helsinki, at least for some parts of the year.
I just recently invested into a new bike, a Bianchi Camaleonte 3 sportbike with necessary additional tools to make it usable in different weathers. At the same time I invested also into a proper Goretex outfit from Löffler and decent soft shell jacket, which can be used in non raining days – when I want to keep wind and cold weather outside.
The Goretex outfit got immediately a good test – as yesterday we had terrible thunderstorms and pouring rain as I was driving to the city. Even though my feet were soaked, and my cotton shirt was little damp from the seat – I was otherwise perfectly dry – as the suit had protected me perfectly.
My goal is to add bicycling into my normal workweeks – and few times a week take the bike to the office as long as I have energy and the weather is fine for driving.
And to be honest I am excited as a kid in the candy store as driving a bike is fun!