11 Tips for Your Bike Commute
As cities and universities seek ways to lessen their negative impact on the environment, more and more people are turning to biking. Not only is biking a good form of exercise, it is also a cost-efficient solution for many nearby commutes while also not adding any more exhaust fumes to the environment.
For some, biking can be a scary or uncertain option because it often includes biking on the road or some dangerous intersections. To help make biking safer, check out these tips for your bike commute.
1. Choose the Right Distance
If you aren’t used to biking, then you don’t want to commit to a 20+ mile ride. You may want to build up your endurance before choosing a long commute. Be considerate of the number of hills you may have to mount and other route hazards.
2. Consider Alternate Options
Perhaps you can bike to work and then get a ride home one day, and then the next day, you could bike home from work. There are a number of ways to do a bike commute to offer a bit of exercise to your life as well as lessening your personal carbon footprint.
3. Always Wear a Helmet
While not all states require bikers to wear a helmet, you should protect your head anyway. Your hair is less important than your brain. Some bikes find creative ways to fix their hair after a bike ride from wearing braids to bringing a brush for fixes afterward.
4. Wear Reflective Biking Gear
No, you don’t need to invest in actual reflective bike gear clothing, but you can choose to wear neon or bright colors while biking. These bright colors will help vehicle drivers see you. While black is a classic color, avoid it when biking.
5. Practice Your Bike Route
If you aren’t completely sure how long a bike ride will take you and you want to know before you need to use it, try it out. This way, you’ll know exactly how long it will take you for future rides, and you can plan appropriately.
6. Choose Minimal Traffic Routes
Not all roads are created equal. Some roads run parallel to busy thoroughfares, and those lesser-used roads will be safer for bikers. Many cities are adding bike paths to these busy roads as well. Checking the routes for your bike rides can be an important detail for your commute or bike adventure.
7. Parked Car Hazards
A parked car may not seem like a problem, but in some cases, car passengers do not check to see if bikers are coming up beside their car before swinging open their door. If you are able to give a parked car with people in it extra space, do so.
8. Always Carry Your Cell Phone
This may feel like a no-brainer, but it’s important to have your phone on you just in case you have a significant mechanical or other problem. Depending on your destination, you may need to have a backup plan to ensure that you arrive at your endpoint on time.
9. Plan Your Work Clothes
If you are going to wear bike clothes for your commute, then you may want to have a plan for a change of clothes. Either leave a change of clothes at work, or bring a spare outfit with you in your bag. Hot temperatures and the potential to work up a sweat may mean you don’t want to bike to work in your work clothes.
10. Always Plan Extra Time
It can be hard to judge how long a bike ride will take. If you have a certain time in mind for your arrival at your end destination, plan extra time around your trip. This means that any surprise on your route will not keep you from a timely arrival.
11. Personal Hygiene after Biking
Some bikers who commute to work may be able to shower at work before sitting down to their 8-hour workday near their coworkers. However, not every office offers that type of facility. A couple of options exist for a quick clean up including a washcloth and soap, moist towelette, fresh deodorant, and fresh clothing.
- Roll up your right pant leg while biking
- Use a bike rack to hold your water bottle
- Don’t listen to music while biking
- Avoid weaving between slow-moving cars
- Don’t jump medians or ride against traffic
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