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You’ve probably heard about the benefits of bicycling to work for quite some time – how it’s a great way to get exercise, decompress in the morning, and enjoy the afternoon air instead of honking horns and rush hour traffic. Getting in shape, not having to buy fuel, and gaining peace of mind are definite benefits of a two-wheel commute but make sure to follow these tips before your very first pedal commute:
1. Do a Test Ride
It’s very risky to do your very first work commute on an actual day of work. Instead do a practice ride on the weekend or your day off to see if you’re in good enough shape to go the full distance and to know how long it will take so you won’t be late.
2. Get Your Bike Ready
It’s extremely important to make sure your bike is ready for the trip before you leave your house. Make sure the tires hold air, the brakes work, and that there are is no looseness in the seat post, handlebar stems, pedals, etc.
3. Get Your Gear Ready
A bike helmet is generally a must for the ride as is comfortable clothing (loose shorts, moisture shirt). Very few people make the commute to their job in the clothes they wear during their shift so it’s important to have a backpack for your work attire as well. You’ll also need a bike lock to keep your ride safe.
4. Learn Basic Bike Repair
It may or may not happen on your first commute but there will be a time when something on your bike fails whether it be a slipping chain, a flat tire, or brakes that get out of adjustment. It’s very wise to be comfortable making these simple repairs before your very first commute.
5. Where Are You Going to Park Your Bike?
Another thing to plan ahead is where you’re going to store your bike while you’re working. Does your work have dedicated bike facilities or is there a safe pole, fence, or tree nearby where you can lock up your bike legally? Contact the department in charge for bike storage and parking.
6. Get Familiar With the Route
Make sure you know the total distance you’ll be traveling, how long it takes, and any obstacles that might get in your way on the route. Prepare another alternative route incase the road are closed for maintenance. You may download some app such as Strava Cycling which could help you to see the route been routed by other riders.
7. Talk to Fellow Work Bikers
If there are other people in your company who bike to work they can be a great resource for routes to take, where to store your ride during the day and other tidbits they’ve likely learned the hard way about pedal commuting. If you cant find anyone, get more source from local cycling forum or cycling group via social media.
8. Check Weather Forecast the Day Before
Nothing puts a damper on your ride than being damp so make sure to check tomorrow’s forecast the night before. This will allow you to either find a different method of getting to work that day or will at least let you pack your rain gear and a full change of clothes, shoes, socks, etc.
9. Equip Your Bike With Safety Gears
Safety gears such as safety certified quality helmet, bike lightings, etc. You never know when you’ll have to work late so make sure your bike has a white front light on the front and a red rear light on the bike so you can both see and be seen especialy early the morning or evening.
10. Enjoy the Ride
Don’t rush or stress about other vehicles or if you’re going to be late for work – instead relax and know that every commute from here on out will be faster and easier as you become a better biker and get in great shape.
Some people dread the commute to work, on two wheels you’ll look forward to it.