May is finally here and we are having such nice weather to enjoy the outdoors. For those of you who are planning to bike to work or thought about it and don’t know where to start, we put together a list of things you need.
You do not need a fancy high-end bike, but the bike you get has to be the right fit; bike shops are best able to fit your bike to you. The right fit increases your comfort and maximizes the efficiency of your pedaling. A comfortable fit leads to a more enjoyable ride, which results in more riding! The saddle on your bike is worth some attention, the type of saddle you choose can make a big difference in comfort.
Pick a route you are comfortable with. Choose roads with bike lanes and slower moving traffic when possible. You can find biking maps on our website or Google bike maps.
Choice of clothing – if you have a short commute (under 5 miles) you could ride in your work clothes. Just go at a reasonable speed, adjust your gears depending on the terrain (you can push yourself on the way back from work if you want a little workout). If you can, leave some clothes at the office to make sure you always look your best. If not here are some tips:
If you do not have a shower at work you could get some Action Wipes, they will do the trick.
Invest in a panier you can put you bag/backpack in so you do not have to carry it. This is both practical and important for your safety since your hands won’t be busy holding things.
There is significant progress in creating fashionable, bike to work clothing but if you don’t think you want to invest in this type of wardrobe check out what other people like you do.
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 .
Bike safety tips:
- Be predictable and signal your intentions to others:
- When you turn left, extend your left arm to your side
- When you turn right, hold your arm up an “L” shape or extend your right arm
- If you want to stop or slow down, hold your arm down in a “L” shape
- Go with the flow of traffic not against it
- Be ready to stop at driveways
- Make yourself visible, wear something reflective, have a white light in the front of you bike and a red light on the back, mirrors, and bell
- Wear a helmet
Well, listen to some of the people that participated in last year’s bike to work week and had a great time:
“It was great. I enjoy bicycle commuting. It helps clear my head and lets me think clearly. And I enjoy seeing the world around me–the migratory birds that are arriving the leaves that are unfolding. “
“It was nice! I wish I could have ridden more often but unfortunately my schedule that week did not allow for it.”
“I’m a newbie to riding. In fact I just bought my bike in April. I wasn’t sure this would be feasible but I was pleasantly surprised. It certainly wasn’t as bad as I anticipated! Weather was mostly great. I used Route 27 rather than Route 1 since it’s a little more biker-friendly (much hillier but less traffic and bike lanes almost the entire way).”
Be safe and have fun! And remember if you have questions or you need help choosing a route, you can always contact us.
If you want to share your experience, please consider being a guest blogger.