There are more and more people cycling to work in England over the past few years. There are numerous benefits of riding to work rather than using public transportation or driving, the most important two being healthy and cost-saving.
However, people have been questioning: is a road bike good for commuting? What if the weather is bad? What if you get tired? Is riding convenient?
Here are some thoughts and knowledge of seasoned commuters so people who are interested in riding to work can take into consideration.
Take baby steps
There are many people started off with great intentions. However, after a while of daily riding back and forth from home to work and vice-versa, they found riding more and more tired and became disenchanted. A few soakings made riding become even more disheartening. And the bike now ended in the shed and later on, appeared on eBay.
To keep up an interest in cycling to work, take baby steps. Get used to the idea by a slow progressive build-up. In other words, use your bike and your car alternately to get used to it then increase the number of days that you ride your car to work. Once you feel comfortable with riding to work, you can make your bike a daily vehicle.
Make yourself visible to other road users as much as possible. You can do this by wearing bright clothing, use light both in the dark and during the daytime. Attach flashing red lights to your helmet.
Wear a bike helmet to protect your head and brain in the event of a crash.
It’s no-brainer that riding a bike can save you a lot of money, but it can get very expensive if you don’t secure your bike. Nothing saddens you more than to know your beloved bike has disappeared into thin air from where you just left it minutes ago.
It’s true that you can never eliminate the risk of getting your bike stolen, but at least you can reduce it by:
- Choose the right type of locks
- Know how to lock your bike properly
- Know where is the right place to leave your bike
- Consider getting a folding bike so you can just fold it and bring it to your office so no thieves will have access to your bike
Bring equipment and learn how to use it
Make sure you are always prepared with a spare tube pump and other basic tools. Don’t use the best equipment because it’s hard to make sure it’s still there when you come back.
It’s also very important for you to know how to fix your bike quickly in case something goes wrong.
Since you’re riding a bike, the less you have to carry on the way, the better. Therefore, leave your shoes and clothes and spare tights, bra, knicks… at work. Dresses are also lighter and easier to roll up, put on and carry.
You can keep dirty laundries in the office and bring them home for the weekend, so you only have to carry them once a week.
Look for alternate routes using Google maps. Try different routes from home to work and from work to home to see which route is the best or if there are any dangerous spots. Varying your routes is also a way to stop you from getting bored and tired of riding on one route over and over again.
If it’s your first time riding a bike to work, test your route the day before to figure out your timing. Add up a few minutes just in case you want to have a cup of morning coffee or have a flat tire.
Riding a bike will take longer than driving a car, therefore, prepare and pack everything necessary the night before to avoid forgetting things in the morning. Prepare whatever you need: clothes, lunch, shoes… and pack them in a bicycle pack or a backpack if possible. Get your bike ready.
Shoe covers and waterproof clothes are very important on rainy days.
Since riding is also a form of exercise, you don’t have to feel guilty for eating too many calories.
Read more of The Best Cheap Road Bikes For Beginners Under $500