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A guide to biking to work for first-time cycle commuters and dedicated cyclists alike.
Have you discovered the sheer joy of biking to work? Not only will you beat congestion, save time, and save money on parking, but you will also arrive at work feeling happier, healthier, and ready to tackle your day. Here are a few simple tips on how to bike to work that will help you get started.
WHAT BIKE DO I NEED?
Honestly, any bike will do as long as it is in good working order. But to make your bike commute as comfortable as possible in any road and weather conditions, you will want to find an upright or commuter bike that is outfitted with fenders, racks or baskets, and lights. Make sure you have a secure lock so that your bike is waiting for you where you left it.
How do I carry stuff on a bike?
If your bike has a rack, you can choose a pannier and let the bike do all of the heavy lifting for you. Opt for a cycling backpack if you don’t have a rack or would prefer to carry things on your back.
Many businesses now offer secure bike parking for their employees. If they don’t, ask if you are allowed to bring your bike inside your workplace for safekeeping. There is also a growing list of great folding bike options for commuters who lack space at home or would like to bring their bike inside when they bike to work. Simply fold the bike up and store it right under your desk!
Finding a safe and pleasant route is key to enjoying your ride to work. Using your city’s map of local bike routes, try your route to work on a leisurely weekend so that you know the length of your ride beforehand in order to eliminate the stress of making it on time come Monday morning. Sticking to bike lanes whenever possible will make biking to work all the more enjoyable.
If you want to try it, rain capes are a great choice for keeping you dry in the rain, as are waterproof packs and panniers. More complete rain gear such as rain jackets and pants, gloves, and goggles are an option for long commutes in seriously inclement weather, but if the rain is too intimidating, it’s okay not to ride.
If you ride at a moderate pace, it’s not really hot out, and you don’t have too many hills to face, you can easily bike to work without getting sweaty.
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 e-bike that will add a little oomph to your ride and eliminate the possibility of sweating.
This content was originally published in 2014 and has been updated.