The re-emergence of sunny warm days is the perfect time to consider bike commuting. Cycle commuting is a healthy, economical, and environmentally friendly way to travel to and from work. If you’re not yet a regular bike commuter, don’t be deterred by the logistics. Bicycle commuting is easy to do and highly rewarding. Read along to find 10 helpful tips on making the transition from Doc Triathlon.
In certain circumstances, commuting to and from work every day is achievable, but what works for some doesn’t work for everyone. Factors, such as distance, weather, time, and convenience, can help you determine when and how often you should ride to and/or from work.
We recommend starting slow and working your way up to an achievable goal. This could mean carpooling to work with a coworker and taking a leisurely ride home or cycling both ways for a single day of the week.
2. Get the Essential Gear
Don’t be deterred by fancy, expensive gadgets or outerwear. To get started, all you need is a decent bike and a helmet. You should also consider investing in a bright, reflective garment that will help motorists to see you better.
Work clothes are suitable for short, low-impact rides, while Spandex bike shorts and a change of clothes are recommended for rides that are longer than a half hour.
3. Learn Hand Signals
When riding a bike, hand signals replace brake lights and turn signals. Brush up on these gestures to ensure a smooth ride and avoid incidents with motor vehicles and pedestrians. The City of Portland offers a free Biking Guide to help you learn the smart, safe and legal signals you should know.
If riding at night, invest in blinking lights and/or reflectors for both the front and back of your bike. This helps you to be seen and stay safe on the roadways.
4. Scout the Perfect Route
Google Maps is a wonderful commuting recourse, but be on the lookout for a lesser-known more bike-friendly route. When biking, it’s always a good idea to take less congested roadways, utilize bike paths whenever possible, and steer clear of construction. Check with local bike organizations for tips for navigating your neighborhood and commute to work.
5. Practice Makes Perfect
Rehearse your commute in your spare time. Take it slow and try to identify potential hazards and impediments. Determine how long it will take you to reach work, park your bike, and change your clothes. Discover convenient stops along the way, such as drug stores, supermarkets, and gyms.
6. Pick Up a Maintenance Guide
Check your tire pressure before a ride. Carry basic bike repair tools, including a multitool, air pump, and an extra tube. What’s more, memorize and practice how to change a flat. Always carry a cell phone with you in case of an emergency or mechanical mishap.
7. Be Mindful of Common Dangers
While biking can be a relaxing outdoor experience, don’t let your guard down. Be on the lookout for opening car doors, potholes, rocks, and debris. While cyclists are required to follow basic traffic laws, not all roadways are bicycle compatible.
8. Join an Organization
Across the country, there are organizations working toward creating cycle-friendly communities. From building and maintaining bike paths to advocating for safer cycle laws, these organizations are often geared at improving possibilities for commuting cyclists. If you’re passionate about cycle commuting, these networks offer ample opportunities for making friends, sharing ideas, and implementing positive change.
This May consider joining over 25,000 other riders in the Bike More Challenge to get riding, log points and compete for prizes.
9. Plan for Your Arrival
Arriving at work after commuting by bike can be a bit of a challenge. First, you’ll need to find a bike rack or storage area to store your bike. Then, if you’re sweaty or soiled your clothing, you’ll want to set aside time to cleanup and change. In such cases, it is a good idea to store extra clothes, towels, and soap products in your work desk or locker.
If your work does not offer bicycle-friendly resources, you may want to consider becoming the official coordinator. By devoting time and effort to establishing safe parking or shower facilities, you may inspire others to take up cycle commuting or even establish a bike club for your work.
10. Find a Riding Partner
It can be fun and reassuring to ride alongside a coworker or friend. Try to find someone who is experienced and passionate about biking. Cycling has numerous mental and physical health benefits. Biking with coworkers can be an opportunity to build camaraderie, improve workplace attitudes, and boost your confidence in your coworkers.
Cycling is a sustainable, money-saving, body-positive commuting option. It’s also a great way to break up the monotony of the work week and spend a little extra time outside. If you’re thinking about commuting by bike, plan ahead, use safety precautions, and have fun!