Since May is National Bike to Work Month, now is the time to try commuting by bike. Whether to work or school, biking can save time & gas, reduce stress, and raise your energy.
The biggest challenge to commuting by bike is gathering the guts to try it. Though starting a bike commute can be a difficult move, after some practice it is actually quite manageable.
Make your first commute easier with these tips for beginners:
- Start slow and short. If you live a good distance away, consider biking part of the way at first. The remaining distance can be covered by bus, carpool, ect. Have a route mapped out before you start, with available bus lines every so often. Once you get more used to biking, you can build up to biking all the way.
- Do a dry-run on the weekend before you try biking to work. This can give an idea of the time and energy the commute will take without the pressure of arriving on-time. And it lets you get to know your bike before you have to rely on it.
- Wear a helmet! As the single-most important item of biking gear, this is very important. Other protective gear can be helpful, but you should never go on a bike without this piece of equipment. It's protection is even worth the worst potential kind of helmet-hair, so no excuses!
- Bright clothing helps you stay visible to cars and pedestrians. This doesn't have to be neon biking pants; a reflective vest or colorful shirt will do. And if your commute in the dark, think about adding a flashing bike light.
- Find a biking buddy who knows how to commute by bike. A seasoned partner is an invaluable resource, and many bike shops have employees who will offer to ride with new bikers.
- Carry a pack, or drop one off ahead of time if you're worried about looking fresh at work or school. Some essentials to add: a change of clothes, facial wipes, and a comb.