7 Day Challenge - By Rhys

7 Day Challenge - By Rhys

Are you up to the 7 Day Challenge?

We challenged our new marketing colleague Rhys to ride a bike for 7 days instead of using his car.

Read his story:

For someone like me, going without a car for a week seems impossible. As a new member of Bikeline, I have been challenged to do just that. From an entire week, I will ditch my Subaru for a Tebco Discovery e-bike. As someone who hasn’t ridden a bike in a decade, this was extremely intimidating. However, I overcame this feeling on the very first day.


I picked up the bike on Monday. Mark, one of the sales staff, was kind enough to join me. To my surprise, we went straight on the road. This was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be - especially with guidance. Since it was midday, the traffic was not terrible. This helped me feel at ease much more. We rode for a couple of streets. The electric component of the bike was extremely helpful to pick up speed when we were taking off after red lights. At the halfway point, Mark went back to the store, and I was left to take a bike path, which took me very close to the street I lived on. This seemed easy enough, but it was flooded. Thankfully, all I needed to do to get around it was to cross James St and return to the path the rest of the way home.

 Flooded underpass

(The flooded bike path) 

After this I was by no means done for the day. I soon went back out, taking the bicycle path through City Golf Club to Kearney Springs. This was incredibly humbling - parts of this path were very steep, so it was very hard to ride through, even on the lowest gear. Because of this I had to rely more on the electric component of the bike more than I originally thought I would need to. After this I did my first ever solo driving on the road, returning home via West St. This was incredibly fun, as it was a downhill ride. The bicycle lane was also wide enough for me to feel safe.

After I arrived home, I went out for a third ride. This was out to Glenvale. This was the most challenging yet - the traffic was fine, but the area was extremely hilly. Although I was trying to rely less and less on the electric assistance of the bike, I used it a lot here.

This was also my first night time ride. As I had front/rear lights, I had no issue with this, and found it just as easy as daytime.

At the end of the first day, I was already convinced to buy my own bicycle.


Ecstatic with yesterday’s experience, I was keen to ride to work - too keen in fact, as I realised I had forgotten to wear my helmet a few minutes in. Because of this, I had to walk my bike back home and get it. I had not gone too far and had gone out earlier than I would have otherwise, so I was not late to work.

On my way to and from work, I was not confident riding through traffic, so I had to ride on the footpaths between Bikeline and Grand Central.

Tuesday is one of my JuJutsu nights, so after getting home from work I rode straight out again. This ride was up West St, which was very tough - again, I had to use some assistance from the electric part of the bike. I arrived early, as I left plenty of time to get myself there. This was the first time I was leaving my bike somewhere, so I had to lock it up, which was no issue as there were bike racks conveniently placed. After I finished the session, I had another downhill ride back on West St.

(the ride back on West St)

Wednesday - Friday:

These days were far less eventful, as they only involved riding to and from work. Nothing too eventful happened. However, I found that I was adapting more to Toowoomba’s uphill terrain - I do not recall needing any assistance from the electric part of the bike the entire duration of these days. The bike path underneath James St was still flooded.

Saturday - Sunday:

This weekend I was working at Coles - the way there was the ride I was most worried about, as I had to start work extremely early (it was still night time) and was on the most hilly terrain yet. Fortunately, this happened to be the ride I enjoyed the most. There was zero traffic and a lot of downhill streets in the mornings, so arriving at work only took 3 minutes longer than a car would have taken me.

(the morning rides to Coles. Very dark and silent.)


The rides home were a different story - although the traffic still was not bad since it was a weekend, the terrain was hell. Although I aimed to use zero help from the electric part of the bike, I had no choice on Glenvale road - this was extremely steep, and I only made it halfway up before giving up and using assistance. I expected this though, as even my car has trouble driving up it.

(Glenvale Rd - It was much tougher than it looks)


This was my last day, and although midday was the finish time of the challenge, I chose to not use my car the entire day. Although I had this day off, I didn’t get too much riding in, as the weather was not very pleasant. However, in the afternoon the rain had slowed, so I took a ride on the same path as last Monday (to Kearney Springs on the bike path and back on West St.), thoroughly enjoying it.

(Mondays’ weather)

Bike Vs Car:

So after this, what are the pros and cons of using a bike instead of a car? Here are my findings. 


  • Commute time: there was not much difference, with the bike only adding a couple of minutes. After the first couple of days I didn’t even wake up earlier than usual and was still on time. I was not expecting this, especially as a novice rider.
  • Safety: The road safety of being on a bike was a concern for me when I started the challenge. However, after a few minutes of riding on the road I stopped worrying. The bike lanes I chose to go on were wide enough, and I felt like I was in more control than I thought I would be.
  • Security: The security of my bike itself was not an issue either. My bike was only left outdoors at Coles and JuJutsu, with the bike racks being conveniently placed near both entrances and were suitable to fit a bike lock. They were also within the vision of security cameras, so if someone attempted to cut the lock footage would be caught. Even if my house was broken into overnight the bike would likely still be safe - I had it snugly locked to a desk.


(Keeping the bike secure)

  • Cost: As I had borrowed the bike, There was zero cost involved. I used little enough assistance that it wouldn’t even impact electricity costs - I only had to charge the bike twice. This is infinitely cheaper than filling a car with fuel. Despite not even touching my car, it cost me roughly $600 during the challenge, as it was due to book in for a tire change. 
  • Fitness: I consistently go to the gym five times a week, but am always lazy with doing cardio. Having a bike for a week completely solved this. Instead of sacrificing an hour of my time to plod on a treadmill for a couple of hours per week, I could instead work some cardio into my daily commute, while having a blast while doing it. I also noticed riding got progressively easier throughout the challenge.
  • Entertainment: Riding a bike is far more fun than driving a car. Even after commuting with tough uphill rides, I still find I have a more enjoyable and rewarding experience on a bike.
  • Sleep: The most interesting finding was that my sleep improved a lot during the challenge. Waking up during the night is usually an issue for me - I don’t recall this happening once during the challenge. Falling asleep on days where I am doing 8 hours of office work is also usually a challenge for me - this is no problem for me when I am riding on a commute.
  • Storage: The amount of things I could take with me on a bike without expending much more effort surprised me. I could stuff a lot into my backpack and still ride fairly easily without the weight being much of a burden. There was also the option of the basket in the back - although I found I never used this. 


  • Effort: As expected, riding a bike requires more effort than driving a car, especially in hilly terrain. However, e-bikes do a very good job at fixing this. Also, this is part of the point of riding.
  • Wet Weather: Moderate to heavy rain can make riding a bit less comfortable. However, rain happens infrequently enough for this not to be too big of a factor.

The Verdict:

While I will not sell my car after this experience, I will certainly drive it less! A bike seems like a must-have for me after this experience - daily work commutes and leisurely rides will definitely be a staple for me in the future!

Check out the short interview with Rhys!

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