Is riding a bike faster than a car?

File Photo.

A video launched in 2017 has been relaunched to help promote bike month.

The two minute video features a spoof Top Gear ‘Stig’ versus cyclist contest, in a race to get from Welcome Bay to the Tauranga Hospital.

In five locations across the city – Mt Maunganui, Brookfield, Pyes Pa, Welcome Bay and Hairini – the journey times to the hospital were recorded. Multiple trips were made along each route across several months and yielded average times for both modes of transport.

For Welcome Bay the average time was over 11 minutes quicker by bike.

The experiment was the brainchild of Bay of Plenty District Health Board reporting analyst Tom Larkin and comes in the lead up to February’s month-long Aotearoa Bike Challenge.

He says he wanted to encourage people to commute by bike.

“Adults should get 30 minutes of exercise a day. If you cycle 15 minutes to work and back, that’s your 30 minutes, no need to join a gym and it doesn’t take extra time out of your day. These results show it can actually save you time.

“If it encourages one additional person to cycle to work then I’ll be happy, if it encourages 20,30,40 plus then absolutely fantastic,” says Tom, who lives in Mt Maunganui.

In three out of five timed journeys in the challenge, cycling proved quicker than jumping in the car, and for the other two driving was only a couple of minutes faster.

Journey to Tauranga Hospital from……

Distance (kms)

Bike Average Time (mins and secs)

Car Average Time (mins and secs)

Difference (mins and secs)

Bike or car faster?







Welcome Bay





Bike faster

Pyes Pa





Bike faster






Bike faster

Mt Maunganui





Car faster






Car faster

*All times were accurate at the time of recording in 2017.

To celebrate the 2019 Aotearoa Bike Challenge and to encourage you to get on your bike, Sport Bay of Plenty are hosting Go By Bike Days in Rotorua and Tauranga.

There are pit stop locations across each town offering refreshments and loads of sport prizes.

To find out more information about the Go By Bike Days, click here:

To learn more about the Aotearoa Bike Challenge go to:

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Lucky few

Posted on 18-02-2019 12:36 | By Kancho

Well Riddick. Not everyone has the ability to ride bikes for all sort of reasons so its not a serious option . Good on those who can, but not so on the council who make ever harder with road restrictions and worse bus system. I would be interested in a cyclists view of Greerton alterations and how they can negotiate the narrow roundabouts

Much faster by bike

Posted on 18-02-2019 11:17 | By Riddick

I commute to work every day, takes me 9 mins on a bike to go 4km to work, usually 16 mins by car. Most are happy to sit in cars and complain about the traffic rather than do something about it.

Good on the few

Posted on 17-02-2019 16:43 | By Kancho

Well not surprised. Takes so much longer to get from Pyes Pa road to the hospital now in a car with the Greerton pinch point created by the council. Not that you see that many bicycles but pedestrians can sometimes over take a car going through Greerton. Worse catch a bus return to the hospital from Pyes Pa road return and double the time it used to take in the previous bus system. .fail fail for the majority I think, but hey the happy few win. Progress nil. Safer yes as everything is so slow. So back to the car and expect a slow trip