It's time to visit Brent Toderian's Resolutions for a City again. We're on #4 which states "If you’ve never ridden a bike for transportation (as opposed to recreation)–and especially if you oppose safe bike lanes–spend a week riding a bike to work and other places you’d normally drive to. On one of those days, take your kids with you. Think about how you felt on every part of the trip."
Similar to #3, Brent encourages us to use different modes of travel to move around the city. However, today's resolution asks you to do so for a whole week and then reflect on your experiences. This is a really important exercise. I believe that I am both a better cyclist and motorist because I use both modes of transportation. I understand as a cyclist what it feels like to be passed by a fast car too close. So when I drive, I tend to give cyclists more space. And as a driver, I understand that unpredictable cyclist behaviour can surprise drivers. Therefore I strive to be very predictable when I am cycling.
In fact, there was a study released this past Fall that supports this very idea. It states, "cycling experience is associated with more efficient attentional processing for road scenes and suggests that road safety would be improved for all if more motorists also cycled". You can read the whole article here.
So, if you haven't travelled by bike or foot recently, why not give it a try next week. Take note of your experiences. According to the research, we will all benefit from doing exactly that more often.