How to Bike to Work

Have you discovered the sheer joy of riding your bike to work?

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Photo by Cheshire Isaacs

Photo by Cheshire Isaacs

Have you discovered the sheer joy of riding your bike to work? Not only will you beat congestion and save time and money on parking, but you will also arrive feeling happier, healthier, and ready to tackle your day. Here are a few simple tips to help you get started.

WHAT BIKE DO I NEED?

You will want to find a bike that is outfitted with fenders, racks or baskets, lights, and make sure you have a secure lock so that your bike is waiting for you where you left it.

HOW DO I CARRY STUFF?

Choose a pannier if you want your bike to carry your load or opt for a backpack if you want to carry things on your back.

IS THERE SECURE PARKING AT MY WORKPLACE?

A lot of office buildings now offer secure bike parking for their employees. If they don’t, then ask if you are allowed to bring your bike inside your workplace for safekeeping.

DO I KNOW HOW I AM GOING TO GET THERE?

Finding a safe and pleasant route is key to enjoying your ride. Using your city’s bike route map, try your route to work on a leisurely weekend so that you know beforehand how long your ride takes to eliminate the stress of making it in time to your Monday morning meeting.

WHAT IF IT’S RAINING?

If you want to try it, rain capes are a great choice for keeping you dry in the rain as are waterproof packs. If the weather is too intimidating, it’s okay not to ride.

WILL I GET SWEATY?

If you ride at a moderate pace, if it’s not really hot out, or if you don’t have too many hills to face, you will not get sweaty.

WHAT IF I HAVE A LONG RIDE AND/ OR LOTS OF HILLS?

A long or hilly commute by bike is going to entail additional adjustments to your regular routine. The distance alone will increase the chances of needing additional grooming at your destination. Luckily, good gear can make the transition smoother. Large panniers will provide the “trunk space” you need to carry work clothes with you. Look for a nearby gym to shower at if your workplace lacks facilities. Or consider an electric-assist bicycle that will eliminate the possibility of sweating.

4 Comments

  • My overall mileage a day is about 18-20miles. 6 miles to the train station, 1 mile to work from the station, and a few one milers here and there, 6 miles to go home and maybe a miler or two after for errands or dinner out nearby. I started taking daily photos of my outfits too to get an idea of what I wear during my commute. The only thing I carry in my backpack are my essentials: minitool, spare tube, patch kit, 15mm hex wrench tool, pedro tire levers, mini pump that all fit in a makeup sized pouch, then cable, mini u-lock, lights (front and rear) wallet, and a water bottle and still have plenty of bag space if I need to pick up something. I always check wundermap or the US National Weather Service FB page for weather updates and if it rains, I use a well compacted poncho.

  • Linda Coburn

    I used to bike to work only once in awhile because no matter the weather I ended up being sweaty and disheveled by the time I arrived. After I purchased a Pedego electric bike, I started riding to work most days. With the electric assist, I arrive at work just as cute as when I left the house (you’ll just have to take my word for that) and still smelling shower fresh. If I choose to pedal on the way home for exercise, that’s a bonus. I love riding to work.

  • Ian L

    I spent ages trying to find a rain cape for use on my daily commute with little luck. Then one day it hit me, and I searched for poncho instead. Blam. So many choices. Now I have two excellent ponchos: one for mild showers and one (a Hunters Poncho) which is great even in cloud burst torrential downpours.

    • I love commuting by bicycle. I’m naturally quick to sweat so I wear athletic clothes for the ride and carry work clothes in my backpack. I also keep a stash of work shoes and an extra set of clothes in a drawer at my desk in case I forget any of the essentials in my backpack.

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