A new study out of McGill University suggests cyclists are commuting champions. Published in the February 2017 issue of Science Direct, it found cyclists are the most likely to arrive on time to work or school and feel the most “energized” for the day. On the other hand, drivers are the most likely to be late and least likely to feel energized. With these findings in mind, they suggest policy makers should consider developing strategies that aim to increase the mode satisfaction of commuters. They also want to encourage the habit of commuting by bicycle, which may lead to improved performance at work or school.

Highlights from the study:

  • An individual’s commute has an impact on his or her energy at work.
  • Drivers have the lowest odds of feeling energized at work.
  • Bus riders have the highest odds of arriving late at work.
  • Waiting time for transit users influences their odds of being punctual.
  • Cyclists have the highest odds of being energized and punctual.

What does this tell us?

It’s time to start cycling to work! We know we’re telling you this in the middle of winter, but don’t let this stop you. We understand that there can be challenges to cycling in the winter, but as long as you are prepared, we are confident you will succeed. We have a number of tips and resources on our website to help guide you as you try winter cycling for the first time, or would like a refresher.

Cycling to work in winter requires a slight shift in mindset. Try to see it as an activity. Many of us enjoy winter activities like cross country skiing, skating, hockey, snowshoeing, etc. Treat your bike ride to and from work the same way as you would one of these activities. Not only will it be more enjoyable this way, you’re also adding some extra excising time into your schedule! We have to get to work one way or another, so we may as well do this in a way that’s making us healthier, happier, and more punctual! Remember to dress appropriately, be mindful of the rules, stay safe, and enjoy!

In a recent CTV Regina News interview, Simon Granovsky-Larsen at the University of Regina sums this up nicely when he says, “I decided, instead of spending the money on a parking pass, I’d take that same amount of money, buy appropriate winter gear, winterize my bike and take it [winter cycling] on… I’m really glad that I have because I’m sure that I would have been house to car to work — and instead, twice a day, I get 20 minutes outside.”

Other resources for inspiration:

MEC – Get Ready for Winter Riding
Bike Winnipeg – Winter Cycling in Winnipeg can be Successful and Rewarding
Metro News – New documentary aims to warm Winnipeggers up to winter cycling
Bicycling – How to Bike Commute Through Winter

Loong, C., van Lierop, D., & El‐Geneidy A. (2017). On time and ready to go: An analysis of commuters’ punctuality and energy levels at work or school. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 45, 1‐13.