Everything You Need to Know to Bike Like a Boss

Here are a few answers to common questions that can help anyone ride a bike “like a boss”.

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Shinola City Bike Look Book Photo by David Niddrie

Photo by David Niddrie

This year, you may have decided to ride your bike more often or are looking for ways to encourage friends, family, and coworkers to ride with you. Here are a few answers to common questions that can help anyone ride a bike “like a boss”:

Why should I consider riding a bike more often?

To be blunt, riding a bike is quite possibly the easiest, most fun, and best way to improve any aspect of your life. Riding a bike more often can help you lose weight, save money, and add years to your life. Riding a bike can make us feel younger than our actual years. Riding a bike regularly can help you stay healthy. And it can even make you happier!

Do I need a special bike?

No, any bicycle in working order will do. Of course, an “excuse-proof” bicycle, one that is outfitted with a few convenient parts and accessories, will make your rides even more enjoyable. No matter what style, a bicycle that you enjoy riding is one you’ll reach for more often. Our Perfect City Bike Checklist can help you find the best ride.

Do I need special clothing?

No, you can wear whatever you want to wear. We’re big fans of dressing for the destination, not the journey. You can ride in a suit, dress, or whatever you want. In certain climates, you may want to adjust your wardrobe for the weather, especially in the heat. Also, clothing that has been designed for everyday riders can be more comfortable and last you longer, but anything already in your closet will most likely be all that you need.

Do I need any other special equipment?

While you may not need anything special for day to day riding, there are many accessories that can help you do much more by bike. Shopping by bike is made much easier with a way to carry your purchases such as a set of panniers or a basket. Bicycle lights are essential for riding in low light and at night, the best possible ones are powered by a dynamo and permanently attached to your bike. And don’t forget to get a fun bike bell. And if you have a family or large items you need to take with you, a cargo bike may be right for you. More great gear ideas can be found in the new Momentum Shop.

Is riding a bicycle for my daily needs safe?

Riding a bicycle is safe.

What can I do to feel more confident?

We certainly understand that in places where bicycle infrastructure is sub-par or non-existent it can feel unsafe to ride. One of the best ways to feel more confident is by talking to (and riding with) other people who get around by bike. This could mean joining a local bicycle user group, finding routes where you’re more likely to not be riding alone, or taking a bicycling skills class to build confidence.

How can I make getting around by bike even better?

Learning how to properly lock your bike can give you piece of mind and save you from theft and heartbreak. Also, biking isn’t limited to just riding to work and school. You can plan a weekend picnic by bike. You can explore your own city (or a new one) on a bike tour or on your own. You can also upgrade your daily-use bicycle to a much more comfortable and practical style.

We want to hear how you “bike like a boss” and make everyday cycling fit into your daily routine. Share your thoughts in the comments below.


  • RobD

    “What should I do to feel more confident?”
    Read this; http://bicyclesafe.com/
    A housemate of mine had recommended it when I first moved to Buffalo and began biking more often. This has not only informed how I commute via bike, but also how I drive

    • fstopman

      RobD – A few years ago I started to write down what I had learned, in 40 years of cycling in traffic, about avoiding dangerous situations. Then I stumbled on the bicyclesafe website, and realized that someone else had already done it.

  • MarkB

    After several aborted tries to re-capture the passion of teen biking, I succeeded in the fall/winter of 2000, after taking a position s bike Assembler for local Walmart. In the fall of 2004, I sold my last car, and I average maybe 10 days a year traveling by bus (when surface conditions are TOO horrid, usually, January/February in NE Indiana). Work, bill-paying, small grocerying, fun rides with the kids (17 and 12, with a couple of 3-y-o’s who want to go along, too)…any local travel that needs to be done can and usually IS done by pedaling.

    I don’t miss the car.

  • I live in Belgium and commute daily with my e-bike (20 miles a day). When we go to the store we use a cargobike so the kids can come along. Biking in the city changed our lives. We are healthy, always on time and save a lot of money! I would recommend it to everyone!

  • dan

    this is the best thing ever. thank you.

  • Sue Oaks

    I have been cycling the 4.5 Kms to work since Feb this year. I wear my normal officey work clothes, stockings and shoes but pack my jacket in a bag and wear an active coat for the cooler weather. I adore my commute now as it is the quickest way to get to work as I don’t have to worry about (or pay for) parking and in fact I park about 10 metres from my work desk 🙂 !! If I change jobs again to something further from my house I am determined to park far enough away that I can take my bike and ride at Leary some of the distance too. Three times a week I also take my road bike out for a longer spin and overall I’m just a happier person for having cycling in my life.

  • Lepha

    I’m a big gal and got a cruiser with speeds , large seat so I could be in an upright sitting position not hunched over it took me going to the right shop tried several most wanted to sell me a mountain bike sturdier frame they said comfort and less pressure on knees and joints got me riding

  • Douglas Yardley

    If you use a bike for daily transportation it helps to get tires with good puncture resistance. I have paid up to $65 each for tires. It’s worth it.

  • Dissoluto

    First of all, the bicycle changed my life and it makes me happier every day. I really enjoy my commute to work, to buy errands and just for the pleasure of riding. But I can assure you that where I have my job “biking like a boss” would mean to quit cycling because no one else, boss or not, does it. 😉

  • Tracy

    Take a day to work out and try your route to work. Be sure to time it. It will always be that time no matter what the traffic is.

  • Great post, Duncan! Another way to improve your confidence on a bike is to read my new book. I wrote it for new and would-be riders, but it also has lots to offer veteran cyclists (you don’t know what you don’t know, and we tend to develop bad habits over time 😉 You can check out The Urban Cycling Survival Guide here – http://ecwpress.com/urbancycling

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