Own your home five years sooner by riding to work

Bicycle Queensland members don’t need convincing about the benefits of bike riding. We’re all getting fitter and having fun while saving the planet by lowering our carbon footprints. According to a 2021 article in The Conversation, riding a bike is 10 times better for the planet than buying an e-vehicle.

But one aspect that isn’t often highlighted, but can be a major factor for people making the switch to riding to work is that: riding a bike is the cheapest time-effective way to travel for distances up to 10km. But what does it cost to ride your bike to work?

We did some maths … but we would be keen to have Bicycle Queensland members check our work. We reckon that if you’re careful, commuting by bike costs less than $20 per week, or less than $900 per year. We’ve based this on buying a commuting bike for $1000, and spending $400 on accessories to make your bike more commute-friendly. And because you’re frugal, you’re keeping this bike for five years, sounds reasonable to us.

Cost of commuting by car versus bike

Compare this with the average cost of transport for households in Brisbane, which is a whopping $458 per week. Yes, you read that right.

So let’s say that 25% of trips made are to work. That’s way too low by the way, but let’s say that. The average weekly cost of car transport in Brisbane is $398 (that’s the total cost of transport, minus public transport fares). So let’s just use a quarter of that cost $99, and take those trips by bike instead. Suddenly we are saving $80 per week.

Let’s consider using the additional $80 per week in a way that could greatly benefit us, such as putting it towards our home loan. An extra $80 per week on the average home loan repayment equates to owning your home five years sooner!

Of course the assumptions in this article can be challenged. But you do your maths and let us know what you might have saved by riding your bike to work?

Our Director of Advocacy has been riding to work for 38 years. On 2022 figures this has saved his household $146,000. He just hopes nobody asks him what he did with this money. It can’t all have gone on Campag hubs and lunches.

Show Yourself Some Love This Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a special time to express our love and appreciation for others. But it’s also important to show ourselves some love as well! Self-love is an essential part of our overall wellbeing and happiness, so this Valentine’s Day why not take the opportunity to do something special just for you? Like going for a bike ride! Queensland has an array of bike trails suited to all levels of riding ability.

Self-love is more than just taking a bubble bath or buying yourself some new clothes — it’s about recognizing your worth and respecting yourself in all that you do. Taking a few moments out of the day to show yourself some love can make all the difference in improving both your physical and mental health. Celebrating Valentine’s Day with self-love is an excellent way to boost your confidence and lift your spirits.

It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive — there are many simple ways that you can practice self-love this Valentine’s Day. Here are some simple ideas from our Mental Health Partner, White Cloud Foundation.

Tip 1: Take a Break from Your Daily Routine

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to take a break from your usual routine and do something special for yourself. Whether it’s taking a long walk in nature, exploring a new part of town, or indulging in some beloved comfort food, make sure that you take some dedicated time away from your regular schedule to just relax and enjoy.

Tip 2: Pamper Yourself

Pampering yourself is an excellent way to practice self-love this Valentine’s Day. Whether you book a massage, do some yoga, give yourself a manicure, or just take some time out for a hot bath and your favorite face mask — treating yourself with kindness and care can help you feel rejuvenated and relaxed. Whatever you choose, make sure to take some time out for yourself and enjoy the experience!

Tip 3: Celebrate Your Achievements

Valentine’s Day is also an excellent opportunity to take stock of your successes and celebrate your achievements. Make a list of all the things that you are proud of or have accomplished over the past year, and don’t forget to include the small (but important) things too. Reflecting on your successes can help boost your self-esteem and make you feel more confident about all that you have achieved.

Tip 4: Avoid Comparing Yourself to Others

This Valentine’s Day, make a conscious effort to avoid comparing yourself to others. It can be easy to focus on all the things we wish we had or could do better, but comparing yourself to other people will not help you feel more confident or appreciated. Remind yourself of your own worth and focus on all the great things about you. Celebrating yourself for who you are is one of the most important acts of self-love!

Tip 5: Spend Time with People Who Make You Feel Good

Spending quality time with people who lift you up and make you feel good is a great way to practice self-love this Valentine’s Day. Whether it’s catching up with an old friend, spending time with family, or meeting up with a mentor — make sure to surround yourself with people who will support and encourage you.

This Valentine’s Day make sure to take the opportunity to show yourself some love! Self-love is essential for our overall well-being, so why not practice kindness and appreciation for yourself this year? Take a break from your routine, pamper yourself, indulge in some comfort food, and spend time with people who make you feel good — these tips will help you give yourself the care and attention that you deserve. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Raise your endorphin levels by going for a ride, and if you haven’t already, join the Bicycle Queensland family here.

Remember, if you’re not feeling ok and are a bit down, lost, stressed or anxious, help is just a phone call away.  It’s important not to let these feelings build up and become a problem, so reach out early to White Cloud Foundation and talk through what’s going on with their team of psychologists, counsellors, social workers, dietitians and exercise physiologists/scientists.  It’s free, no referral needed, and all appointments are via phone or tele-health.  Just call 07 3155 3456.

Queensland’s Best Post Ride Coffee Shops

As much as we all love riding, it’s well documented that sometimes before we start, we are already thinking about the coffee at the end! For two-wheeled coffee drinkers, the first sip after a long ride is rewarding! We were determined to hunt down Queensland’s top bike-friendly cafes. So we asked our members what their favourite post-ride coffee spots were, and here are the results.

Musette | Bowen Hills
Voted top post ride cafe in Brisbane by our members! This gem is hidden inside CAMS Cycling Collective.

Cheeky Bean | West End
Cracking Colombian coffee and shockingly bad humour, with an ever changing array of naughty snacks! Dog friendly as well!

Cadence Cafe | Nerang
Situated at the back of the bike shop ‘Just Ride’. This cafe has a laid back atmosphere and provides a nice place for a catch up after a bike ride.

Bean Beat | Hervey Bay
A lovely, locally-owned, family-run cafe devoted to serving fantastic, home-made food by the beach side.

Cafe in the Mountains | Mt Nebo
Nestled in the forest with stunning views while you eat, and drink your coffee. 

The Gardens Club | Brisbane City Botanic Gardens
The Gardens Club occupies the heritage listed curator’s cottage in the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens, hosting a cafe.

Baked at Ancora | Tweed Heads
Where classic Parisian bakery meets cheeky waterside picnics.

Cafe Scooterini | Coolangatta
Enjoy a post ride beverage and meal by the beachside at this cosy cafe.

River City Coffee Roasters | Ormiston
River City Coffee Roasters was born from a desire to create amazing coffee, and share it with the public.

Water Drop Teahouse | Chung Tian Temple Underwood
The Teahouse provides tranquil and comfortable surroundings to relax with light vegetarian meals and refreshments.

Preece’s at the Jetty | Redcliffe 
Modern Australian dishes in a large, long-standing restaurant with pavement seating & bay views.

Lokal + Co | West End
A neighbourhood eatery and bar with a Nordic influence.

Hey Joe Coffee + Co | East Brisbane
An eatery with contemporary Australian cafe service and London-inspired aesthetics.

Drift Coffee Company | Scarborough
Dog friendly, seaside, organic coffee & eats.

Swift espresso | Paddington
A great place to relax and connect in Paddington over great coffee and a flavour-packed menu.

QRoasters | Stafford
Coffee is QRoasters passion and craft! 

Cruise down to your favourite coffee shop and tag Bicycle Queensland, so we can stay up to date with the best cafes in QLD. We are sure there is more great coffee shops out there, so if we have missed your favourite let us know! 

If you haven’t already, join the Bicycle Queensland family here.

Enjoy your riding and COFFEE! 

Coping with the Christmas countdown

Everyone thinks that Christmas Day is the time you can feel stressed, depressed or lonely, but for many people the lead up to Christmas can be just as overwhelming. 

For a lot of people that means sorting out your plans, who is coming and who isn’t, organise food, buy presents and put up the decorations.  These are just the basic, most common stressors.  We know that for many people, there is a raft of other, often more complex issues, at play. 

Now that the countdown to Christmas has officially begun, here are just a few tips for keeping your mental wellbeing in check: 

Stay healthy – eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep can help you cope with Christmas stress.  Remember, overindulging in food and alcohol often adds to your stress and guilt. 

Plan – Make sure you do up a budget and stick to it.  Don’t overspend. Work out your shopping list and get it done early to avoid the crowds and the risk of making last-minute, over expensive purchases! 

Be creative – if your money is not stretching as far as you’d like with the rising cost of living, then look at how you can do things differently.  Consider a simpler version of Christmas lunch – perhaps a BBQ or picnic and ask guests to bring a plate.  Get crafty and make some presents or give the gift of your time – maybe a voucher to do some dog walking or gardening – there’s always something you can do that others need! 

Connect – If you’re separated from your family and friends by distance, make sure you stay in touch with them online or by phone.  If you are on your own, there are ways to connect with others such as volunteering or attending local community events such as Carols by Candlelight.    

Be realistic – Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect or the same as other years.  Situations and families change….children grow up, relatives pass away, some parents may divorce.  Nothing stays the same forever.  Just make sure that you acknowledge and appreciate any feelings of loss or disappointment you may have and realise that its normal to feel that way. 

Chill out – Amongst all the Christmas parties, planning and shopping, it is important that you stop and take some time for yourself.  Go for a walk, listen to some music, take a long bath or read a book.  Even if its just for 15 minutes at a time, it can make the world of difference. 

If you feel like it is all getting on top of you, remember its okay to reach out and get some help.  Talking to someone can be great to put things into perspective.

Our partner White Cloud (07 3155 3456) can help arm you with some good strategies to help you get back on track and cope with all the Christmas commotion. You don’t need a GP referral or Mental Health Plan, you can access it from wherever you live and, best of all, its free. 

What are the benefits of riding to work and how can you make it easier?

Sustainability is understandably a hot topic just now, with governments, businesses and individuals all seeking ways to create a greener future for us all. Commuting became a distant memory for millions of workers during the pandemic, but now, with lots of people making a return to the office, this is the perfect time to reset and adopt better, healthier habits.

Riding to work is nothing new, but more employers and employees are waking up to its benefits. Not only can riding benefit the individual’s health and wellbeing, it’ll also help to protect the local environment. Employers may even stand to benefit, with riding shown to have a positive impact on brain power and productivity. 

In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of riding to work in greater detail, and highlight a few ways you can make bike commuting even easier.

What are the benefits of riding to work? 
  • Improve physical fitness and mental health. We’re all aware that riding is a great way to help keep your body fit and healthy, but did you know it can also help to support your mental wellbeing, too? One study reveals that riding is the second best form of exercise for a lower mental health burden, just behind participating in team sports.  
  • Improve productivity. Riding has been shown to improve brain function, with it increasing blood flow to the brain by 28% compared to resting, according to one study. As a result, this can help you to arrive at work in a more positive frame of mind, and help to improve productivity throughout the day. 
  • Helps the environment. If you’re passionate about sustainability, riding is a great way to play your part and help create a greener local environment. By replacing a car for a bike, not only will you be saving on harmful emissions, but if more people chose to cycle, it’d reduce congestion on roads, helping to cut pollution even further. 
How to make riding easier 
  • Use an e-bike. E-bikes are gaining popularity across the country, particularly since the 2012 legislation was passed which introduced guidelines around using e-bikes, in line with European standards. An e-bike works like a traditional bicycle, but offers the added thrust of a battery-powered motor, to take some of the strain out of your commute. Read more about e-bikes here.
  • Be organised! Riding to work will generally take a little longer than public transport or a car, meaning you’ll have to be organised to give yourself as much breathing room in the morning as possible. Be sure to pack up anything you need the night before, and also leave heavy items at the office where possible, to save you carrying them on your commute. You should also make sure to pack some food for the office, to give you the energy for that evening ride home.
  • Make use of company facilities. You’ll want to arrive at your desk feeling and looking fresh, so particularly after a longer ride in, you’ll likely want to have a wash and get into a change of clothes. If your office doesn’t already cater for active travel, ask your employer whether it would be possible to invest in some equipment and facilities to encourage more people to ride to work. Or, see if there is a local end of trip facility, where your employer could arrange for employees to make use of the changing facilities.

Even small changes like some showers and changing rooms can go a long way. It’s also helpful to consider how or where you’ll keep your bike during the day. Employers should look to include some safe storage facilities on-site, to give their pedalling personnel peace of mind that their bike will be secure during the day.

To sum up

In this post, we’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to exploring the potential benefits of riding to and from work. It may seem like a major lifestyle change, particularly if you’ve been driving or getting public transport for many years. But why not try riding just one or two days a week at first, before building yourself up to a bigger commitment? You’ll likely feel the benefits almost immediately.

Article by Ross Hansen

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Sleep Tips for Cyclists

Sleep is vital for a healthy lifestyle, but how is it important for cyclists? One bad night’s sleep won’t hurt you, but prolonged sleep loss will have a bigger impact on your performance than you think. Follow these sleep tips to get a better routine around sleep and give your body an opportunity to perform at its best.

Exercise physiologist and overall health guru, Ben Greenfield states there are two primary reasons for sleep.

  • The brain cleans up unwanted ‘mess’
  • The body repairs itself
Get on a regular cycle

Our circadian rhythm governs the human body. So if you can go to bed and wake up at around the same time each night this will work with your body’s natural sleep cycle, rather than fighting against it. This is where the body works with light and darkness and is controlled by a small area in the middle of the brain. Brain wave activity, hormone production, and cell regeneration are just a few of the factors influenced by our circadian rhythm.

Understand what to eat and drink before bed

Obviously, sugar and caffeine are a big no, no. Sugar leads to a night of restless sleep and keeping your blood sugar levels steady is important any time of the day. Avoid caffeine up to 5 to 6 hours before bed, as for the average adult it takes that long to break down half of the caffeine. For example, the average coffee has about 80mg of caffeine, so after 5-6 hours you will still have around 20mg of caffeine in your system trying to break you out of that essential non-REM, deep sleep. Get some protein in your body to help restore your muscles during sleep. Something like nuts and yoghurt (low sugar) is a suitable snack before bed.  Stay hydrated during the day and this will reduce the chances of an interrupted sleep cycle.

Related: What to eat and drink during exercise

Track your sleeping habits

Modern technology does this for us these days with fit bits and whoop technology collecting sleep statistics and other insights to help us measure our recovery and sleep habits. If you prefer to go ‘old school’, keep a diary track patterns in your sleeping habits. You can also keep track of the things contributing to your poor sleep and try to remove these from your lifestyle.

Read before bed or develop a ‘wind down’ routine

Increased screen time contributes to blue light radiation exposure, which tells our brains that we need to be awake negatively affecting our circadian rhythm and reducing our REM sleep. The Sleep Foundation recommends a digital curfew an hour before bed. This allows our melatonin (sleep hormone) to be produced sufficiently. Put the kettle on, have a peppermint or ginger tea, pick up a classic printed novel and unwind. Consider selecting a book that promotes your mind to go to another place. Reading something about work or training will over-stimulate and you’ll be unable to unwind.

For a detailed guide to understanding sleep patterns check out this resource here:


To find out more about the negative impact of screen time on sleep check out Sleep Foundation’s article here.

If you really want to nerd out on sleep, check out Ben Greenfield’s article here: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/the-last-resource-on-sleep-youll-ever-need-the-ultimate-guide-to-napping-jet-lag-sleep-cycles-insomnia-sleep-food-sleep-supplements-exercise-before-bed-much-much-more/

How to prepare for a group ride

A group ride is a great way to stay motivated while getting the opportunity to meet new people and create some friendly competition. Although a group ride is a lot of fun, there are a few tips and tricks to know before you hit the ground pedalling!

Road Rules

Whether you’re riding fast or going for a social pedal, understanding the road rules is the most important part of cycling safely. This study shows that cyclists have a better knowledge of road rules than drivers and are therefore less likely to cause conflict on the roads. By familiarising yourself with the local state laws, you will have a greater ability to protect yourself and educate others in your group. Riders in the group must look after each other during the ride.


Do some research on the route and recognise parts of the rides that may,

  1. be difficult or unsafe to navigate (roadworks or heavy traffic)
  2. pose a potential problem for new riders (steep hills or sharp corners)

If you’re riding with a new group, establish one person that can support you throughout the ride – this is a buddy system. Some groups will inform riders that this is a ‘no-drop’ ride which means no one gets left behind. Others will not offer such pleasantries and if you get dropped, you’re on your own. This is great for people wanting to prepare for racing as they simulate the demands that racing presents. These rides are physically and mentally demanding and suited to people with a very high fitness level.

Pace Lines

If you’re riding in ‘pace lines’ then this is a single line peloton that takes turns at the front (in the wind). The best way to ride smoothly in these groups is to take short turns or ‘pulls’ on the front while maintaining a steady speed. When you’re ready for the next person to come round you, check over your right shoulder to see if there is any traffic, then flick the right elbow out to indicate that it’s safe for the next person to come around you. It will be hard work on the front so don’t take any longer in the wind than you need to. When your turn on the front is done, you should ride slightly slower than the person coming around you so that they do not have to increase their speed and use too much energy moving to the front.

Be careful not to ‘half-wheel’ the person in front of you. This is when your front wheel overlaps the back wheel of the person in front of you. If any sudden movements in the paceline occur, your wheel would hit theirs and this will cause riders to go down. It is very important to maintain consistent speed in the group so gaps between riders are more predictable.

Group Ride Etiquette

Follow general riding etiquette to make the ride more predictable. Use hand gestures and sound your intention or alert riders of any hazards. In group rides, there are no bad calls. If everyone can hear you, they will appreciate the initiative. If you’re at the front of the group then it’s your job to make the calls identifying hazards or issues you see in front such as, ‘car up’ or ‘hole’, ‘glass’ or ‘stick’. When you’re at the back of the group, it’s your job to let riders know what’s happening at the back such as, ‘car back’ or ‘hold your line’. You also have the responsibility of letting the group know if it is safe to change lanes. Take this quiz to test your knowledge.

Each group will have its own dynamic and structure, but being prepared will give you some confidence on your first ride. If you’re can’t maintain the pace of riders at the front, sit at the back of the group and let riders know that you’re just ‘sitting in’. It is better to sit within your limits and experienced riders will respect that.

How to prepare a fun family bike ride

A family bike ride isn’t about distance or how fast you go. It’s all about fun and exploration. Keep reading to learn some tips and tricks that will make your family ride one to remember.

You don’t need to spend a fortune on kid’s bikes. If you do your research, you’ll find some affordable options on second hand online retail sites. Often these bikes are in great condition but are now too small for the rider.

Before you get started

If it has been a while since you or your kids have ridden your bikes, then it is important that you do the following,

When on the path or road look to make the ride easy enough that your little ones are puffing, but still able to talk. This will help you make it through the whole ride. Aim to have the strongest rider at the back and the next strongest at the front. This will keep all the little ones safe in the middle. Pack some light snacks and plenty of water so you can stop on the way and replenish your energy and rehydrate.

Before you leave on your first family group ride, we suggest making sure everyone is skilful enough to handle busy bike paths. The last thing you want is to be out on a busy bikeway and one of your little ones gets scared and does something unpredictable. Here are a few fun skill drills to do before leaving on your first big ride.

Fun games to incorporate in your ride

  1. Turtle Race – Move as slowly as you can to a marked point without putting your foot down. First person to put their foot down is out.
  2. Slalom Drill – Place four or five markers about 2-3m apart in an empty car park or cul-de-sac. Move inside out of the cones, slowly at first until you are comfortable with a faster pace.
  3. Stopping and moving off – Slowly move parallel to a curb and practice stopping gently with the closest foot landing cleanly on the lip of the curb. Once steady, push off the curb into a moderate pedal so that neither foot touches the ground and balance remains stable. The slower you go the more control you have.

Once you and your little ones can do these skills confidently and your bag is packed with heaps of yummy food, you’re good to go. These rides are made even more fun if you can meet up with some friends during the ride.