October is here, bringing back the sweet aromas of spring to Stellenbosch!

While spring invigorates the spirit, it can also be a time of great stress. As we shake off the winter slumber that has been shrouding our minds, we suddenly start to realise that the end of the year is upon us. Work is speeding up just as it should be slowing down, the petrol price is sky-rocketing, money is tight, and the body is just not where it should be with summer holidays fast approaching!

If only there was some magic spell to tackle all these issues at once! Well, maybe there is… Have you considered cycling to work?

Stellenbosch, under the auspices of Stellenbosch Fietsry/Cycling, is celebrating its fourth annual “Bike to Work” week between 15 and 19 October. This local non-profit is encouraging all commuters, including their employers, to leave their cars at home for one week and cycle to work.

Technopark loves this initiative! If you are not fully convinced yet, let’s persuade you with four reasons why you should bike to work.

1. Fitness

Cycling is a low-impact, calorie-burning form of exercise. It offers a good muscle workout and increases stamina, strength and aerobic fitness. Unlike other sports, it’s pretty easy to learn and maintain. By cycling to work, you will burn those extra calories throughout the day, thereby ensuring that you step out onto the beach with a body toned and ready for action.

2. Finance

Cycling to work will save you money, a lot of money! For the first time since 2014, South Africans are actually spending more money on fuel than on new cars. According to James de Villiers of the Business Insider, South Africans have thus far spent on average R14.76 billion per month on fuel in 2018, and just over R14 billion on new vehicles. This does not even factor in the cost of maintenance and occasional repairs. Beyond the actual spend on fuel, cycling can help you save in other areas.  A 2011 cost-benefit analysis of cycling investments in Portland, United States, found that residents could save between $388 and $594 million in individual health care costs by 2040 due to the city’s investment in cycling infrastructure improvements.

3. Fresh air

Cycling to work is far healthier for you and the environment. According to the South African Greenhouse Gas inventory published in 2014, the transportation sector contributed 8,8% of South Africa’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2010. Of this, 91.2% can be allocated to fuel combustion emissions. According to Momentum Mag, cyclists release only 0.7 grams of carbon dioxide through respiration. Furthermore, “while a bicycle’s life-cycle energy use including manufacturing and maintenance over a 15-year period is 60 kilojoules per Passenger Mile Travelled, the life-cycle energy use for a standard sedan clocks in at a whopping 4027 kilojoules/ PMT”. So be kind to nature and yourself by donning that helmet and hitting the road.

4. Fun and creativity

Let’s face it, cycling to work is fun and stimulates your brain to get those creative juices flowing. Childhood is all about having a jol. If you were lucky enough, you can recall many fond childhood memories of time spent on a bike. Cycling to work helps to bring exhilaration into your daily routine, it makes you aware of your surroundings, and pumps blood to your brain to get your imagination going.

So come on Technopark, let’s support Stellenbosch Fietsry/Cycling’s initiative this October. You won’t only be giving back to nature and your community, but more importantly, to yourself.

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