The basics of biking to work
Rush-hour traffic is the bane of every commuter’s existence. In many places, it would actually take you less time, door-to-door, to ride your bike to work than to drive your car. You’re also getting your exercise in - it’s the ultimate multi-tasking errand. Wondering how to even get started with riding rather than driving? Here’s the basics:
- A bike for commuting has different features then a recreation bike. If you embrace this concept, be on the lookout for the extras that make commuting by bike extra smooth. Fenders keep you dry, for example. Panniers hold your purse/briefcase/lunch. A light helps visibility.
- Your clothing choice depends on your distance. If you’re riding fewer than 5 miles, you might be able to get away with wearing your work clothes on your bike. For distances longer than 5 miles, dressing in athletic wear keeps you safe and comfortable (pack work clothes in your panniers). Do not forget your helmet!
- Your route may be different than the one you drive. Plan your route on a weekend in order to find the safest and most direct route. Remember that, in traffic, bicyclists should ride with the flow of traffic (if you’re a runner, you’re no doubt accustomed to running against the traffic, so this will take some getting used to).
- You might consider part-car, part-bike commuting. If you live quite a distance from work or you must use a freeway for part of your route, consider putting your bike on a rack on your car and riding the second half of your route.