Even for a seasoned cyclist, commuting by bike can sometimes be a daunting task. Getting to work on your bike can mean showing up being slightly sweaty and out of breath. Riding in rush hour traffic can be scary – no matter how good you are in terms of bike handling. However, for every excuse to skip your bike commute, there are still great reasons why you should bike to work.
Here are some ways you can make your ride to work easier:
Plan Ahead (At Home)
Unless you have a short commute (less than 15 minutes), you will likely want to ride in one set of clothes and change into another set once you get to work – especially when temperatures rise. You should bring clothes that will not wrinkle in your bag, or you can also hang them in a dry-cleaning bag, roll it up gently before placing it in your bike’s basket. If showering at work is impossible, you can bring baby wipes and deodorant, so you can freshen up quickly.
Plan Ahead (At Work)
Once you get to work, know where you are going to stash or lock your bike before you ride in. This way, you do will not roll around for 15 minutes, just looking for the safest place to lock it and in the end, be late for work. You should also stash non-cycling shoes in your desk to help you avoid embarrassing situations.
Leave the Backpack
Riding with a backpack can be troublesome as backpacks trap the heat on your back. It will create a giant sweat stain all over your shirt. Thanks to modern fashion, you can now get stylish bike accessories like panniers, and bags that hook over your rear rack, so you do not look goofy when you tote them into the office. You can also go for a messenger bag which gives your body some breathing room.
It’s a Still a Ride
Just because you are using your bike when commuting to work does not mean you get to avoid flats. It is best to bring everything you would on a normal ride, and this includes spare tubes, tire change tools, and a mini-pump. If you tend to get roped into working later than usual, be sure to have a bike light as well. When you have a “commuter kit” ready in your work bag, you save time as opposed to assembling and reassembling everything every day.
When riding, keep in mind that safety comes first – always. When you are commuting, it is important to see and be seen, since you are most likely to ride at high-traffic times of the day and in high-traffic areas. This is where it is important to have bike lights, as well as reflective gear on your bike, helmet, and on your cycling clothes.