Benefits of riding

Riding a bike is fun, improves your physical and mental wellbeing, is convenient for getting around locally and is environmentally friendly. There are so many reasons why riding is good for you and good for Queensland.

Watch videos and read stories to hear from Queenslanders of all ages and abilities about how they benefit from bike riding and their advice for others.

Immediate personal benefits

Fun and adventure

  • Aside from being a great way to get around, riding a bike is fun. Do you remember how free you felt riding a bike as a kid? You can have that again by going on an adventure in your neighbourhood.
  • Read our guide on how to rediscovering riding.
Bicycle riders riding on a bike path.
Riding a bicycle can improve your mental health and wellbeing.

Mental health

Physical exercise improves your mental health. Some of the mental health benefits of bike riding include:

  • decreased stress and anxiety levels
  • triggers the release of ‘feel good’ chemicals in the brain that make you feel happy
  • decreased risk of depression
  • better sleep
  • boosted creativity and productivity.

Convenience and efficiency

Travel time by bicycle is more predictable than by motor vehicle as traffic is rarely a problem. Riding is convenient because it:

  • offers door-to-door service—you can usually park a bicycle closer to destinations than cars
  • is often quicker than driving a car when travelling short distances up to 5km
  • Travel time by bicycle is more predictable than by motor vehicle as traffic is rarely a problem.
Two bicycle riders looking at each other riding on the river front.
Riding a bike is great exercise and increases cardiovascular fitness.

Health benefits

Physical activity

Health professionals recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each day. Yet, research indicates that 30% of Queensland adults are not getting enough physical activity1. Bike riding is a great way to exercise while having fun and there are so many benefits of being active.

Riding a bike to work, school, university or college is a convenient and practical way to incorporate regular exercise into your busy day.

1 Source: Queensland Health, 2016. The Health of Queenslanders Report, 2016. Brisbane.

Economic benefits

  • The cost of buying and maintaining a bike is around 1% of the cost of buying and maintaining a car.
  • Riding a bicycle 10km each way to work each day will save about $1,700 per year in transport costs (including all running costs and depreciation). Also, bicycle parking is usually free, easily accessible and more convenient than car parking.

Transport benefits

Distances of up to 5km are ideal for bike riding, but 79% of all journeys in South East Queensland under 5km are made by private vehicle2. Choosing to ride a bicycle to your destination instead of taking a car benefits our transport system in many ways.

  • Bikes do less damage to road surfaces than cars. Bike paths give people 'freeways' for the price of footpaths.
  • The estimated cost of congestion is $5 billion per year. More bikes and fewer cars on the road can reduce this congestion and its associated costs.
  • Bicycle riding facilities can extend the catchments of existing public transport services. On average, 10 times more households are within bike riding distance of public transport than are within walking distance.
  • The majority of car trips to school are within walking distance. Riding a bike or walking these trips significantly reduces congestion around schools and improves safety for children.

2 Source: Department of Transport and Main Roads. 2016. South-East Queensland Household Travel Survey 2009–2012. Brisbane.

Social benefits

  • Bike riding provides affordable and independent travel for those who might otherwise have restricted travel options.
  • Bicycles offer increased mobility to many groups of the population with low rates of car ownership, such as low income earners, unemployed people, seniors and those under 18 years of age.
  • Construction of shared bicycle riding and pedestrian facilities also creates benefits for pedestrians and people with disabilities by providing an increased network of paths and improved road crossings.
  • More people riding and walking provides additional opportunity for social interaction on the streets which can greatly enhance a sense of community and connection, improving mental wellbeing.
Two people in a store holding a pineapple smiling at each other.
Riding a bike is a great way to get to your local store.

Community benefits

  • More bicycle riding in a neighbourhood means fewer cars which can lead to a safer road environment. Children can take advantage of slower and less dangerous traffic to ride bicycles as well.
  • When people walk or ride a bike as transport, they are more likely to use local businesses for their shopping.
  • Riding enables people to interact socially and feel more connected with their local community.

Environmental benefits

Find a path near you and enjoy the ride.
  • Bicycle riding uses minimal fossil fuels and is a pollution-free mode of transport.
  • Bikes reduce the need to build, service and dispose of cars.
  • Bicycle riding conserves roadway and residential space, thereby providing opportunities for less concrete and more plant life in urban areas.

Find out more about the benefits of riding in the Queensland Cycling Strategy.

Now that you know why more people riding bicycles is so good for Queensland, find where to ride and start experiencing the benefits for yourself.