In my second post, I complained about having a car in Switzerland. Within last week, I have got fined, so the arguments against car are even stronger.

Zurich has quite good public transport (especially trains are fast and convenient), but it is also cyclist-friendly. Almost half of the roads has cycling lane, and there are hundreds of bikes parked by each university building every day. I am biking as well - to do some sports activity and save some money.

The road from Oerlikon to ETH CAB (where I work) takes around 10 minutes - faster than by tram. It is going downhill, so I arrive to work without sweating. The way back, especially during evening hours, takes surprisingly shorter time, as the traffic lights are better succeeding each other and the traffic does not slow me down. My current record is 7 minutes for the 3.4 km ~ 27 km/h with the small ascent of 50 elevation meters. However, learning this route took me almost two weeks, and I biked a longer route due to orientation troubles.

The view from Hönggerberg, where I cycle for bouldering.

I bike around the city a lot - around three times per week I cycle to some new area to visit some flat or attend some activity. It gives me opportunities to complain about several things:

  1. Zurich is hilly - going to ZOO is just 2.9 km with 160 m of elevation. I will cycle there whole November and December for a drytooling course. I really look forward to that.
  2. Bikers are the worst behaving people in the whole city! They always go on red lights, ride anywhere - by the tram line, by the sidewalk, they ignore all signs… My office-mate Tobias (hope that you will read this) noted about the passing on a red light: “You have to take special care - about the police nearby.”
  3. Electric bikes are everywhere. It is cheating! I cycle 20 km/h to the hill, and I get overtaken by a lady on a city bike with a basket with vegetable. Nasty cheating!
  4. I have almost got hit by a car twice. Once by a vehicle leaving the longitudinal parking - that was not that bad. The last time, I wanted to turn left on crossroad with a traffic light. I was in line “either left or straight,” and the car by my left hand was signalizing it will go left. With the green, we both drove same speed and started turning left, when the driver decided to change his plan an started returning straight, even though I was already in that place. A driver behind us horned and we missed each other by at least 10 cm, but it was scary.

Despite the bike-friendliness, I agree with other Tobias’ statement (he does paragliding and many other adrenalin sports). Commuting by bike is the most dangerous thing I do.

Written on September 28, 2018