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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).