Make the switch

Make the switch

What would you do with an extra four hours a week?

Switching to commuting by bike has saved Susie Robertson four hours a week and improved her fitness. By ditching the bus and buying an e-bike, she cut her commuting time from 80 minutes a day to just 30.

Susie is the Community Manager at Wellington's Sustainability Trust.

A year ago she was looking for a more convenient way to get to and from work.

Unfortunately the bus was crowded and unreliable. I tried out the staff e-bike, and found it worked well for me, so I bought my own.”

Instead of taking the bus and walking, zipping from Brooklyn to Te Aro by bike is no sweat.

I like the feeling of community I get when you see four or five riders gathered at the lights. We sometimes say hello or give a nod.”

For anyone who considers e-bikes cheating, Susie also reports fitness gains.

“Once the e-bike was in the shop for maintenance, so I rode a push bike home up Brooklyn hill. There's no way I could have done that a year ago.”

Mixing with cars isn't always easy, she says. “You have to be on your game, to be alert.”

Her advice for anyone considering making the switch?

Give it a whirl. Borrow a friend's bike or ask your bike shop for a test ride. And invest in quality gear such as bike gloves.”

I love the built-in lights on my bike. They come on as soon as I start pedalling. I never have to worry about dud lights.”

Susie clocked up 116 km during February in the Aotearoa Bike Challenge, putting the Sustainability Trust team into first place among Wellington not-for-profit organisations.

Now the Trust is looking at upgrading its bike parking for both staff and customers at its Te Aro Ecoshop.