Bike Commuting: Your New Best Friend

With gas prices rising quickly, a bike may be your new best friend.  At Outdoors Inc, we have been big into promoting bike commuting for our employees, doing a month long incentive program for days our employees ride in to work.  A dollar a day for each day they rode.  This promotes a healthy transportation option and saves money at the same time.

A lot of people find a commute to work intimidating (and smelly).  As we addressed the smelling aspect of it in the blog article “How to ride your bike to work and not repulse your co-workers”, now it is time to make your commute more feasible and comfortable.

One thing I have personally struggled with is waking up a little earlier than usual to ride.  This is something you have to train yourself to do, which could mean waking up earlier every day of the week regardless of riding or going by car.

Along with an earlier wake up time, your morning wardrobe will need some adjusting.  Pack a bag for your work clothes.  Just because you see pictures of people riding their bikes in suits does not make it a good idea.   The clothes you wear to ride need to be comfortable, breathable, and practical.

Be careful when choosing bike shorts.  If you are commuting in the summer months you will not want fleece padding.  Many people are inclined to get super padding in their shorts, but really you should keep in mind the amount of padding on your seat.  Too much padding can end up making you less comfortable.

Know the bike laws.  If you expect to be treated just like a car in traffic, you need to obey the same laws as cars do.  Stake out your route to work before hand, making sure you are taking bike friendly streets.  If bike lanes are available to you, use them.

If possible, find a friend or co-worker to ride in with.  It’s similar to the buddy system, but for adults (who says you only learn the alphabet in kindergarten). If you choose to listen to your headphones, be sure to keep the volume at less than concert level so you can hear on-coming cars and other traffic.

Lastly, get a tune up before you commit to commuting.  Check your lights to make sure they work, and wear a helmet.  Once you start riding in to work, you will start to see others following your lead.  There is nothing like seeing someone else be healthy to motivate you to do the same.

Send in your photos to our Facebook page of your commute.

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One response to “Bike Commuting: Your New Best Friend

  1. Even if you live a bit farther than you think is feasible to commute by bike you can always use a folding bike and ride public transit (or even drive just part way) then unfold your bike and ride the rest. I ride a Montague Bike for my commute and fold it to take on the train for part way. Montague uses full size wheels and they don’t put any cuts or hinges in their frames so they ride and feel like a traditional bike. They still fold down though and it’s really easy! Check them out at http://www.montaguebikes.com/

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