In Bicycling, Climate Change, Land Use, Public Health, Safe Routes

This week we are celebrating Earth Day. This year’s theme is “Invest in our planet and build healthy cities, countries and economies.” The Earth Day 2022 theme is focused on engaging more than 1 billion people, governments, and institutions to recognize our collective responsibility. One way we can reduce our carbon footprint and build healthy communities is by reducing the number of trips we take by car, whether commuting to work, running errands, or replacing other car trips with a bike ride.  To help you increase your bike ride trips, we have put together a few tips on how to get ready for biking and where to ride.  Let’s start with getting you ready to bike:

  • If you haven’t used your bike in a while, check your tires, chain, brakes, and wheels. Here are a few tips on that.
  • Fina a bike that fits right and has a comfortable saddle; bike shops are best able to fit your bike to you.
  • Find a route you are comfortable with.  Choose roads with bike lanes and slower moving traffic when possible.  Here is a great resource on how to do some exploration and find the best route for you and strategies to ride safely.
  • Wear comfortable clothing. Whether you commute or you run errands, clothing can make a big difference in how much you enjoy the ride. You can find a few tips
  • Invest in a pannier you can put your bag/backpack in so you don’t have to carry it.  This is both practical and important for your safety since your hands won’t be busy holding things. Plus, paniers are great when you go grocery shopping.
  • Plan ahead and learn what to carry with you just in case –Spare tubes and tools and know how to change a tire. You can learn here .
  • If your office does not have a safe storage spot for your bike, here’s some bike locking advice .

Moving on to how to find a bike route:

  • The NJDOT maintains a list of bike maps throughout the state, you can the list
  • The DVRPC maintains an interactive bikeability map available here. The map includes bike trails and biking conditions on major roads rated from excellent to unbikeable. The map also includes points of interest along the way. DVRPC also offers a text message trip planning tool that finds the bike route with the least amount of car traffic, or traffic stress. The service is available here.
  • The GMTMA Greater Mercer Plan includes an interactive map with existing network of trails and sidewalks. You can find the map here.
  • You can also find more biking maps on Google bike maps, however these maps do not reflect road conditions.

GMTMA is a great resource for biking and biking safety info. If you have any questions on getting started, if you can take your bike on the bus or train, bike trials, let us know.

Happy Earth Day!

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