Wordless Wednesday

Bike Commuting Tips

As Bike to Work Week is fast approaching (this year it falls on May 16-20), it’s time to refresh your commuting knowledge, or maybe just share some tips with those folks who have yet to try commuting by bike.

Bike Commuting Tips

  1. Plan your route. With a little forethought, you can avoid heavy traffic and construction zones. Use a tool such as the biking directions in Google Maps or ask other bike commuters or your local bike shop to suggest the best routes.
  2. Watch the weather. Know what to expect so you can plan ahead and dress appropriately. Always keep packable raingear in your bag, just in case.
  3. Maintain your bike. Check tire pressure often. Inspect tires for wear at least once a week. Tighten quick releases, bolts and screws regularly. Ensure that brakes are working properly prior to every ride. Keep chain, pedals and other moving parts properly lubricated. 
  4. Be prepared. Carry an extra tube or patch kit, tire levers and a pump or CO2 inflator. Pack a small multi-tool or set of basic hex wrenches for emergency repairs.
  5. Keep extra clothes and clean-up essentials at the office. Instead of toting your change of clothes and personal hygiene essentials such as towels, wipes and deodorant every time you commute, store a week’s worth of clothes and clean-up essentials at work.

But you should always be comfortable when you ride in to work. If there’s a part of your commute where you don’t feel safe riding your bike, you can always drive part of the way, park your car and then ride the rest. If there’s nowhere to change or store spare clothes at your office, just leave yourself some extra time and ride slowly so that you can wear your normal work clothes (plenty of folks around the world do just this, and manage to look quite stylish while commuting). 

With these few simple tips you can make Bike to Work Week fun and enjoyable, and hopefully part of your regular routine in the future (if it isn’t already)!

National Bike Month

National Bike Month is here! May is a month-long celebration of all things cycling, and the League of American Bicyclists has made it easy to find out what is happening in your area with their guide to Bike Month Special Events.  They also have a handy Bike Month Guide to help you create a successful National Bike Month Event in your community, workplace, city or state (it’s never too late to plan an event).

But really National Bike Month should be an easy sell for cyclists everywhere.  It’s an excuse to ride your bike more, plus bring along some friends for the ride! Get your friends to dust off that old bike, or  pick up a new one, and remind them why they used to love to ride.  As a cyclist yourself, you know that:

  • Biking burns calories and boosts your metabolism
  • It increases your cardiovascular fitness
  • It strengthens and tones your muscles
  • It improves flexibility, balance, endurance and stamina
  • It relieves stress
  • Cycling is FUN (even when you’re grinding up that last hill)!

Invite someone new to your next group ride, or try one out for yourself at your local shop. Get your riding buddies together and go exploring on that new trail you’ve been meaning to try, or that road you’ve always ridden past. Ride slow and just enjoy the view.  Enjoy the fact that the only fuel you’re burning comes from your own 2 legs! Even car maker Audi has realized that maybe bicycles aren’t such a bad idea (what with $4 a gallon gas), and has partnered with handbuilt hardwood bicycle specialists Renovo to create a line of Audi-branded bikes.

Whatever you do, just get out there and ride! National Bike Month is a time to let everyone know that you’re a cyclist, and that they should be too.  So what are you waiting for… let’s go for a ride!

Celebrate Earth Day!

As a cyclist, you contribute to environmental sustainability every time you ride. But in honor of Earth Day, it’s great to know some facts about the benefits of cycling (especially bicycle commuting) that you can share with friends and coworkers.  For instance, did you know…

  • A four-mile round trip by bicycle prevents the production of 15 lbs of air pollution.
  • A seven mile daily commute by bicycle instead of by car saves almost 9 pounds of hydrocarbons, more than 66 pounds of carbon monoxide, 4.4 pounds of oxides of nitrogen and 1319 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
  • If just one out of every 10 commuters who now drive to work switched to bicycling, the savings would amount to 2 billion gallons of gasoline per year and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 25.4 million tons.
  • 8 bicycles can be parked in the space required for just one car.
  • According to the US Department of Energy, more than 50% of the working population in the US lives within 5 miles of the place they work.
  • Although more than 60% of all trips are 5 miles or less, fewer than 1% are actually made by bicycle.
  • One-fourth of all trips people make are one mile or less, yet three-fourths of these short trips are made by car.

The more that we all talk about the benefits of cycling, the more people we can get cycling for National Bike Month in May!   Here at Performance, we work hard to make our company greener every day.  As the nation’s largest cycling retailer, we’re proud of our efforts to make every day Earth Day by employing sound environmental practices as a responsible corporate citizen. Our green initiatives include:

  • Recycling paper, plastic & corrugated company-wide.
  • Donating old PCs to charity and sending toner cartridges and ribbons back to vendors to be reused.
  • Using environmentally responsible packaging.
  • Printing our catalogs on paper manufactured with Sustainable Forestry Initiative-certified content.
  • Practicing energy conservation in stores & corporate offices.
  • Encouraging bike commuting, car-pooling and use of public transportation by our associates and other organizations.
  • Developing tire, tube and chain recycling programs for eventual implementation at Performance Bicycle retail stores nationwide.
  • Complying with LEED-CI certification requirements wherever possible in the construction of our new retail stores.

We can all make a pledge to do more this Earth Day:

  • Participate in Earth Day activities in our communities.
  • Renew our commitments to enhancing sustainability in every way that we can.
  • Reduce our carbon footprints even further by riding our bikes instead of driving whenever possible.

To learn more about Earth Day and its history visit Earth Day Network.

Happy Bike to Work Day!

Hope you’re having a great Bike to Work Day out there.   Here at Performance headquarters we had another great turnout, as you can see in our big group photo of the folks that rode in to work this week:

There were folks from jobs as varied as accounting to the warehouse, from first-timers to hard-core daily bike commuters, hitting the roads  for Bike to Work Week and everyone had a great time:

So we hope you had a safe and fun commute, no matter if it was your first time or if it was just another Friday, and that commuting this week has inspired you to make Bike to Work Week every week!

We’ll leave you with a little salute to just a few of the bikes that Performance employees rode in to work this week:

National Bike Month – May 2010

As you may have noticed already, May is indeed officially National Bike Month, organized by the good folks with the League of American Bicyclists.  Now I know what you’re saying; if you’re reading this blog, plus the guys (and gals) at the bike shop know you on a first name basis, you’re already riding your bike plenty, so what’s the big deal about a special bike month!  You ride at lunch (if you’re lucky like us here), you ride after or before work, and you definitely get out for a ride or race on the weekend.  Maybe you already ride to work or on trips to the store.

So what makes National Bike Month special?  It’s easy… you!

That’s right, this is your chance to get out there and get new folks involved in cycling and bike commuting.  Check out the National Bike Month events page to find special bike commuting or bike month activities in your area and invite a non-riding friend along.  Organize and volunteer to lead bike commuting to your office for Bike-to-Work Week May 17-21 or Bike-to-Work Day Friday May 21 (try out the “Bicycling” option in Google Maps for route planning or ask for route ideas at your local bike shop).  Here at Performance we make things interesting by fostering a little inter-departmental bike-commuting competition, which is settled with a complicated formula that factors in distance and team participation (and is almost always won by accounting, but they are good with numbers after all).

Need some more help?  Check out our Bike Month page for commuting tips you can share and handy factoids about the benefits of cycling.  Plus you should set goals for yourself as well.  Say that you’re going to ride to work 3 times a week for the month or not get in a car for trips under 2 miles, and then follow through!  You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to get into your new routine.

National Bike Month is about sharing your passion for cycling with others, and making a commitment to ride more, for your health and for the planet’s.  Just think, the more cyclists there are out there, the more awareness there will be for cycling issues and safety.  So get out there and ride, and bring a non-cycling friend along too.  Soon enough they’ll be addicted to riding too!  Hope to see you on the road (or the trails).

Getting ready for Bike-to-Work Week – Chris’ Bike Trailer

Since Bike-to-Work Week (May 17-21, part of National Bike Month) is coming up soon,  we thought we’d relate a bike-commuting dilemma that Chris, one of our bike distributors and a Performance blog contributor, faced today.

Chris commutes, almost every day, on his trusty older model Scattante XRL Cross bike.  Of course he rode in today, but his dilemma was this: a coworker asked him to go for a mountain bike ride this weekend, but Chris had no mountain bike at home (don’t ask–this is not normal).  So what’s a guy to do?  Well, how about rig up a 29″ mountain bike-towing trailer out of a B.O.B. Ibex trailer and  a Thule Insta-Gater Truck Rack:

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