It’s no great secret that choosing bikes over cars is better for our planet and our bodies. It provides built-in exercise each day and simultaneously diverts fossil fuels from entering the atmosphere. It is inexpensive and efficient, and it produces no carbon footprint.
If you’ve been hesitant to make a bike your standard commuting vehicle, try these tips to get started:
Strength in Numbers
It’s hardly rocket science that having a support system makes it easier to achieve goals. If you want to commit to cycling to work, ask a co-worker to join you in the pledge. Whether you commute together or separately, you’ll hold one another accountable, driving a collaborative effort to make biking your mainstream form of transportation.
Plan A Clothing Strategy
Five minute bike ride? No big deal. If your commute is a quick one, then you can walk into work with the peace of mind that you wont look unprofessional in the morning. If your commute is a bit longer, don’t be deterred from cycling by the prospect of sweaty clothes. Invest in a small bike bag and place your change of clothes safely inside. When you get to work, you can quickly change into your professional outfit.
Many companies are increasingly making clothing for men and women that are both work and bike friendly. Lululemon, Patagonia, and PrAna are just a few brands that carry cycling-geared lines.
Learn the Rules
Make sure that you know the biking rules in your community. It’s vital to understand the core signals and skills that will ensure a safe ride. Always be a defensive cyclist, and remember to be alert and aware. This guide offers some great tips on the basic rules and signals that you should use on your daily commute.
Invest in the “Comfort Basics”
Nothing is less appealing than the prospect of an uncomfortable ride. Always bike with the essentials – gloves and a hat in colder weather are a must, and it’s always a good idea to keep a cheap poncho stored away in your bike bag in case of surprise rain storms.
Keep Your Items Secure
You don’t want to spend the day worrying that your bike won’t be outside when you get off work. If your office doesn’t have a secure place to store your bicycle, then invest in a U-Lock (or two) that will keep your bike safely stationed throughout the day. Make things even more convenient for yourself by investing in a detachable, compact bike bag that you can easily bring with you into the office each day.
Whether your commute is 5 minutes or an hour, you should never get on your seat without a full water bottle on hand. This won’t just keep your hydrated; it will also prevent you from walking into work looking worn out, exhausted, and distinctly unprofessional.
When it comes to becoming a bike commuter, the most important thing is to just do it.
Seasoned cyclists, do you have any bike tips that make commuting a breeze? If so, please share them with us!
Image Credit: [Flickr/Matt Hamm]