May 14, 2012

Comments (24)

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Wish it were longer

My commute to downtown Los Angeles is so positive I often wish I could ride all day every day. My commute is a mere 14 miles each way and I feel the need to add miles to make it better.

TJ Knight 108 days ago

I can be additive

Been doing it for 3 years. Year round. 8 miles each way. VERY lucky to have alternate work site with place inside for bike and showers. One flat in three years (two days ago ) but made it home fine. Rarely ride in heavy rain. Most due to fact that people around my heavy suburban area drive bad enough safety factor in rain not worth it with an available vehicle. I actually own a couple but still prefer to commute by bike.

Scott 109 days ago

I bike to work everyday

I live in Boulder where bike paths and lanes are plentiful. It's an easy 1/2 hour commute on bike. It's much less stressful than driving. I bike in all kinds of weather. I'm never cold or wet because I wear appropriate gear.

Bob 219 days ago

Except in YYC

For some reason, in YYC, those along the Bow dress as if they're out for a century ride - often hammering the whole way so it's nasty for everyone else. Seriously, sqeezing a pass between a kid and another commuter?

chris byron 220 days ago

Bike commute

Wear what you want - lid or not, tights or not, (just back off when someone chooses differently). Experiment. I added a down vest as I have a cold downhill in the morning, but rarely wear it for the climb later on. For winter drop your pressure a bit or, better yet, get a fat bike.

Chris more than 1 year ago

And as fall approaches, reflect reflect reflect

I've been riding to work 2 or 3 days per week and haven't had a flat yet; I got Continental bike tires with a kevlar liner and a SUPER feature, reflective sidewalls. As summer ends and the nights arrive sooner, all the visibility we can muster is important.

Kimmi more than 2 years ago

Prevent Flats

You can prevent a lot of flats by making sure your tires are pumped to the maximum PSI. I've riddedn almost 9000km on two different sets of tires and my only flat was when the tread was worn out because I didn't replace them soon enough.

mike more than 2 years ago

No Flat Tires

As stated, you shouldn't be getting flats with proper tires.

1. Anti-flat technology to resist punctures (some brands work better than others).
2. Low tpi (threads per inch) means a stiffer tire that will resist pinch flats when you have low tire pressure.

I highly recommend Michelin tires with "Protek" (purchase online). They have great traction and they actually eject shards of glass, or whatever, so you don't need to pick them out later.

I've also had good luck with Bontrager "Hard Case" (at your local Trek store).

The only flat I've gotten in years of daily commuting was a nail. Ride on!

James Bikes Green more than 2 years ago

how to avoid flats

After getting flats nearly every week decided to try puncture resistant tyres, a bit more expensive than regular ones but have puncture-proof material in the layers of rubber. No flats in over a year of daily commuting, so well worth the money for peace of mind. A few companies including specialized make them.

Paul more than 2 years ago

if you get a flat

Nice post!
Just a small comment on one part: In my city, "call a van taxi" isn't really an option (they're too rare and would take too long). But the other alternative is to just lock your bike up where ever you get the flat or other trouble, jump a bus or (regular) taxi to work, and come back for your bike later. That gives you hours to arrange for a van-taxi for the evening. Plus it's always reassuring to know that's an option, no matter what happens.

Happy cycling!

Barn Stormin' Jenny more than 2 years ago

When no Shower is Available

If you'd like to really freshen up after your ride in to work, try Action Wipes ( 100% natural body wipes for when you can't shower.

martha van inwegen more than 2 years ago

Excellent Wake Up

I am by no means a morning person, but by the time I get to work I am fully awake and ready to go thanks to my daily bike ride to the train station. The physical activity helps get my blood pumping and the cool morning air really wakes me up. I just wish the pollen weren't so bad this season.

Miguel@GJEL more than 2 years ago

Bus + bike commute

I work in downtown Cincinnati and I ride the bus to work with my bike on the front bike rack of bus. Then I ride my bike back to where my car is parked (13 miles) I bring a change of clothes for ride home. I leave a pair of dress shoes in office. I collect all my work clothes once a week when I drive.

Tim Jones more than 2 years ago

Bike to work

Biking to work is exercise. No matter if work is one or ten miles away from home; you still get your daily dose of exercise. And its fun and informative (you get to see things normally you don't). Dressing accordingly, planning is also fun - plus challenging: on your toes, alert as to what is best, more convenient. The helmet issue is debateble. I for one, don't agree helmets should be compulsory. If, however, you happen to be insured, ALWAYS WEAR an helmet.

Jaume Saladrigas Cussons more than 2 years ago

It's easier than you think

I bike to work at least twice a week. It's a refreshing start to my morning and allows me to start my day with more energy. I was amazed at how easy it was once I started. It does require a little more planning, but it's extremely rewarding and fun. What I really love most about biking to work, other than the exercise and fresh air, is that I get to see the city in a whole different way. There are streets and buildings I never quite noticed before. Commuting by bike allows me time to appreciate all the city has to offer. Rather than just "passing through," I'm now a leaving, breathing part of the urban experience. Sounds good, right?

Brian more than 2 years ago

bike to work

My commute is 3.5 miles each way, even with bike racks outside mi building i still carry my bike into the building because it's too expensive to be kept outside and i had 1 stole 4 years ago.
I have cleaned and empty a drawer on my desk and i have extra clothes most of my shirts are black fruit of the loom t shirts and i can wear jeans at work. I keep 2 boxes of baby wipes, carry 1 bike rack with 2 waterproof panniers and a rack bag, I also attached a handlebar bag and a combination lock since sometimes all i need fits there.
we have no showers and no lockers. bathroom is big enough to change clothes.
For lights i recommend LED lights I use Duracell AAA 20 Min rechargeable batteries and charge them every weekend. one tail red light that i recharge batteries every month and. I use cargo shorts and a Black t shirt to ride since sweat is less noticeable on black colors... and then i just pull another black shirt and get my jeans from my panniers. Drinking cold water while riding and when you get there helps a lot cooling down and stop sweating ASAP. also got a mini fan for my desk for $10 at Target and i blow it on my face as soon as i arrive. I was using a mountain bike but i found out i was pedaling more and getting nowhere so i decided to buy a 29er Bike, Please check them out they are fast and strong. for long rides in the Vineyards I use my road bike for 20+ ride miles.

Mimo more than 2 years ago

Long Commutes

I ride from Gainesville to a small town (pop. ~3700) called Newberry. There is no public pool or gym or anything like that unfortunately. I do have a travel size bathroom bag I keep at work to freshen up a bit but that's all. I would love to add a bit more comfort to my commute and sell my truck to go down to a one vehicle family. I guess I am going to have to start getting creative...

David more than 2 years ago

Lights and Showers

I second Stephen's critic, that Turtle Lights are not bright enough, especially on a dark side streets. I work freelance, and don't have the luxury of knowing if the place I will be working at for a day to a couple of weeks has showering facilities, so, I carry lots of deodorant. The unscented baby wipes also are a helpful tip that I also use.

Joey more than 2 years ago

Long commutes and lights

Look for a gym or pool nearby if there's no shower at work, they might rent lockers or consider adding racks for panniers so you can carry clothes each day. I'm not a fan of turtle lights, not bright enough, difficult to change batteries, can't use rechargeables.

Stephen more than 2 years ago

Long Commutes

This is a great article, but what about those of us with long commutes. I ride 2-3 days per week to work and it is 12 miles each way. I do keep a pouch of baby wipes with me but on really hot days, it's just not enough. I love the commute, though, through rolling countryside just outside of Gainesville, FL but as the summer is rapidly approaching, what can I do to arrive in good shape. My employer is small and has no interest in installing a locker area, showers, etc. because I am the ONLY person who bikes to work. I would love to ride 5 days per week but I have no place to store extra clothes and food at work. Any suggestions would be appreciated greatly!

David more than 2 years ago

Used closet or dresser

I would purchase a second hand dresser to keep at your employers building out of the way to put your clothes and other essentials. Too bad your boss does not INVEST in you.

Rob 220 days ago

Nearby Gym?

I have a gym membership, so I throw on workout clothes and get out of the house before a shower and bike the 8+ miles to work and stop at a gym 2 blocks form my office. Shower and dress there then roll in to work fresh. If there is a Gym within a mile of your office that could work for you. A mile is a short enough distance that you won't build up a sweat after getting showered and changed so you will still feel fresh getting in to work. Also my gym has several locations and I have combined some of these with other longer bike trips, so its given me a lot of flexibility.

Peter 213 days ago

baby wipes!

Carry a pack of unscented baby wipes with you. I've found that if I just let myself cool down and stop sweating once I get to work I can use the wipes to clean myself up and make sure I'm not smelly.

Brian more than 2 years ago


Almost all rainy weather can be handled by installing fenders on the bike--the biggest problem with wet weather is not what falls down on you, but what sprays up from the road.

Michael Wise more than 2 years ago