If you commute to work or school every day, you probably get stuck in traffic a lot. You may even give a jealous look while people who are bicycle commuting cruise by you on their bikes.
Well, guess what.. That can be you too!
Choosing to commute by bike isn’t an easy first step. It requires great planning. Don’t worry, that’s what we’re here for! In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about bicycle commuting.
Why Bike to work?
Bicycle commuting can change your life for the better! Put in the time and effort into making it work, and you’ll see huge benefits.
- Positive impact on the environment is something you’ll feel great about!
- While riding your bike, you get to enjoy the outdoors & air around you, which will put you in a better mood.
- It’s a great workout for those who struggle to find the time for exercise.
- You’ll save a LOT of money on gas, car maintenance & parking.
Commuting by Bike – Bike Commuter Tips
Here are some tips for effective bicycle commuting.
Choose the Right Bike
Choosing the right bike for you is half the battle when it comes to bicycle commuting. This choice can make a tough commute much easier.
If you need a bike for long-distance commutes, a hybrid bike is the best choice. Especially if you want to reach your destination faster than usual.
If you’re looking for a bike more suitable for a busy city, a folding bike may be the best choice. They’re easy to carry due on & off public transportation. When your commute involves busses or trains these can be an easy choice.
If you need a real alternative to your car, an electric bike is super convenient. It’s the fastest biking option. They also need the least effort because the electric motor does most of the work.
If part of your commute crosses rough or uneven terrain you may want to consider a mountain bike. Mountain bikes aren’t ideal for paved roads because they demand more of the rider. Though they can be a smart choice for some situations.
Road Bikes are the quickest of the bicycles of all. But they do demand better control than some other bikes. These bikes are a better choice for more experienced cyclists.
Bicycle Commuting Safety
Always make sure you wear your helmet. Yes, your hair will look cooler with the wind blowing through it, but good looks won’t protect your head if you fall.
If you bike at night, get bike lights so you can be seen by drivers. And whether you’re biking during the day or at night, avoid wearing headphones that completely block your hearing.
Make sure you can hear the traffic around you.
Be careful of parked cars; many drivers open their car doors carelessly as long as they don’t see cars on the road. So, try to wear something bright to be noticeable so you can easily be seen.
Know the Road
Like any other vehicle driver, it’s always better if you know exactly where you’re going before you set out. Becoming familiar with the road beforehand helps you bike confidently and avoid unsafe spots.
You also have the advantage of biking in places that cars aren’t able to go. So I recommend learning the best routes that will best suit your bike and your riding style.
Try to choose Bicycle Friendly Streets
When possible, you should ride on bicycle-friendly streets. These are streets with bike lanes. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with Bicycle Streets, then you’ll be even better off, since these streets are designed with bicycles in mind, rather than car & truck traffic.
Wearing comfortable clothes will make your ride easier, especially if you’re a beginner. Wearing loose clothes isn’t recommended because they can easily get caught in the chain & sprocket, which is an accident waiting to happen.
Your body normally warms up after about two minutes of cycling, so avoid wearing heavy clothes if possible to minimize sweating. If you have to dress warmly because of the weather, then dress in layers so you can remove articles of clothing as needed.
Should I Bike to Work?
You definitely can bike to work if you live within a reasonable distance.
In my opinion, everyone who can bike to work definitely should! I mean who doesn’t want to go to work in a good mood?
Working up a sweat before work is one of the things that discourages many people from biking to work.
We get it. No one wants to smell bad at work.
If you’re lucky enough to have showers at work then you just need to bring a change of clothes and you’re all set. If you don’t have showers at work then you only have to bring a few more items, and you’ll be fresh as a daisy.
How do you stay fresh after biking to work?
The main challenge people encounter when biking to work is how to show up fresh and ready for work. Especially if there’s no shower around.
The answer? Preparation! Pack the following lightweight items and you’ll be fresh & ready for work. Not only that, you’ll feel invigorated too.
Bring these items when you bike to work:
- Body Wipes – Like having a mini shower in your pack.
- Hand Towel – To dry yourself off and remove residue from wipes.
- Deodorant – Freshen up with some scent.
- Comb or brush – Get rid of the helmet head with the help of some water.
- Change of clothes – Now you’re dressed and ready for work.
Bicycle Commuting Gear
Unlike any other mode of transportation, biking puts you face to face with everything on the road. For the sake of your safety, you should have the following bike safety gear!
A helmet is essential when it comes to bike commutes! It’s the equivalent of a seat belt in cars. Some people ignore this. But, whether you’re a beginner or professional biker, you need to wear a helmet for your own safety.
Rechargeable Bike Horn
Every car has a horn, and if you want to get noticed a bike bell simply isn’t enough. If your bike doesn’t come with a horn, you should get one!
Horns help you communicate with others on the road. Whether it’s with other drivers or pedestrians.
Otherwise known as side-saddle bags, panniers are indispensable for people who depend on their bikes for transportation!
I recommended using a pannier over backpacks. They’re much more convenient, easy to use, and don’t leave sweat all over your back.
Many bikes come with racks. If yours doesn’t, it’s a good idea to get one.
Use it for your pannier and other essential items, like a water bottle. If you prefer backpacks over panniers, the rack is a perfect solution.
Bike locks are the only thing that will keep your bike safe when you park it. They’re portable and easy to use, and most of them are not that heavy. Get one to protect your bike from getting robbed.
Bicycle Commuting in the Rain
It can be challenging to bike in rainy weather, but with some tips to follow, it gets easier. Maybe even to the point where you actually enjoy it!
Here are some things you should consider to enjoy your ride in the rain:
Bike Fenders – Mudguards
Fenders protect you from road spray and mud splashing, plain & simple.
Despite the fact that you can bike in whatever type of clothing you want, getting waterproof pants and jackets for rainy weather is a smart move.
Invest in a waterproof jacket & pants for a better ride in the rain. You’ll be able to enjoy the weather without worrying about its consequences.
Rain pants and jackets will protect your body, but your hands can still be affected by the water on your hands. Without the right gloves, your hands may become cold & numb. Making it very tough to concentrate on anything else.
Get yourself a pair of cycling gloves. you can thank me later.
Bicycle commuting is a perfect choice if you want to stay healthy, save money, and protect the earth.
It all starts with a well-maintained bike, some reliable equipment, and you’re good to go!
Now go check out this article to learn 15 Bicycle Safety Guidelines For Riders Of All Ages!