Making the choice to start biking to work not only improves your health and budget, it’s good for the environment too. It is a simple, easy way to improve your life and the quality of life of those around you. This is a simple guide to help you get started with commuting by bicycle, but always feel free to call Wheelies, or come by the store for more advice and a free evaluation of your bicycle.
Commuting to work on bicycle can seem overwhelming to the beginner, especially if you don’t bike regularly. Start off slow and ride your bike to the store once or twice a week when you only have a few things to pick up. When you get used to being on the road with other cars, try biking your route to work on your day off. That way you have a good idea of how much time it takes, or if you need to plan a different route than what you take with your car. Bike at a leisurely pace, and then add fifteen minutes to that so you know that you won’t be late. Finally, take the plunge and bike in!
If you are worried that the route you currently drive to work is too busy or congested for a bike, check out alternative back-road routes that maybe run parallel to your usual route but are less congested. Remember, you’re on a bike so a 45mph speed limit doesn’t help you get there any faster. Google maps offers biking directions now, which will route you on less busy roads. Part of the fun of biking to work is going on these back roads you maybe haven’t taken before. You may discover a new store, or a great restaurant!
It’s important to have the right gear with you when you bike to work so you don’t show up covered in sweat! Invest in a nice backpack, or bike rack to carry a change of clothes with you. Show up a few minutes early and change in the bathroom – if you are sweaty, use some non-scented body wipes to clean off before you change. If you can’t store your bike inside safely, invest in a high quality lock and store it outside. If you find yourself really enjoying commuting to work (and let’s be honest, you will!) and start doing it on a daily basis, you’ll want to make sure that your bike is in top shape and really suited for commuting. Wheelies will happily give you a free evaluation of your bike if you stop by.
In addition to basic bicycle safety, you’ll need to be extra careful on the road when commuting. Get a set of high quality lights for your bike, reflectors are not enough! You never know when you’ll have to stay late one day, and you don’t want to get stuck without them. Wear reflective clothing, and ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET.