When it comes to bike commuting there are so many pros for this type of activity and so many benefits that you definitely have to try it. Riding a bike to work is eco-friendly as reduces air pollution, traffic jam, and CO2 emissions. Furthermore, it improves your fitness condition and helps you losing a few pounds. Costs of bike commuting are low and riding a bike to work can also save you the cost of parking, fuel and vehicle maintenance. Besides, the daily exercise is good for your physical and mental health as well.
However, here are some very useful tips you should read when starting bike commuting because they present the basics for any bike commuter.
A - Plan your route ahead
Before starting to bike commute, figure out your best route on which you will feel safe and you will enjoy your bike ride as well.
B - Get comfortable with your bike
This is especially important if you haven’t used your bike for years and would like to start bike riding again.
C - Check your bike before the ride to avoid mechanical problems
Make sure that your bike is in good shape – that the tires are inflated and the brakes work as they should. Clean the chain on your bike, lubricate it if necessary and remove any dirt from it. If you don’t know how to do the basic bike mechanics, you can take it to a local bike shop or a bike mechanic shop for a tune-up and they will take care of these things for you.
D - Be predictable, use hand signals and obey the rules
One of most important things for bike commuters is safety. To maximize your safety when on your bike you have to be predictable. When you are riding your bike you are part of the traffic and you present a vehicle. So, always obey traffic lights - stop at the red lights and go forward only when the lights turn green. If you take any turns on your route, use hand signals to indicate them. If you are predictable and do all that, there is far less chance that you get hit by another vehicle, because in this way other vehicles can anticipate where you are going. When you are riding your bike also scan your surroundings constantly, be aware of the other drivers and try to predict their next moves and directions. And very important, always assume that other participants in traffic can’t see you.
E - Make sure to be seen - make yourself visible
Again, safety comes first. In order to be safer it is so important that you are visible in traffic, especially during the winter times, when the days are short, early in the morning or in the evening and also during the daytime. In order to be seen you have to equip your bike with proper bicycle lights. Mount a white bike headlight on the front of your bike and a red Fox Sportive bike tail light at the back of your bike. In this way you will be much safer on the road.
F - Choose appropriate clothes that are comfortable to wear and stay clean and fresh
Another important thing is comfort. Therefore, choose the clothes that you feel comfortable in. You can wear the street cycling clothes or any other clothes you feel good in. When you arrive to work, if possible, take a shower there, if this is not possible, then use some kind of wipes (such as baby wipes) to refresh yourself after the bike ride. You might also want to change clothes at work, so take some extra with you or have some extra at work.
If you don't want to get all sweaty to work, then don't rush when going to work, take it nice and easy, pedal slowly and you will arrive fine there. If you
G - Be aware of the other participants in traffic
Be aware that there are other cyclists and vehicles around you when you ride your bike, as well as the pedestrians. Pay attention to the pedestrians when they cross roads at crosswalks. When doing turns don’t just use hand signals but do a shoulder check as well. Pay attention to the cars in front of you, in which directions they are going. Avoid coming into the blind spots of other vehicles.
H - Bells are cool - use your bell when needed
When you are passing on another cyclist or a pedestrian, use a bell to indicate your move. If you don’t have a bell on your bike, just use your voice to inform them that you are coming.
I - Lock your bike when arriving at the final destination
Make sure that you secure your bike by locking it carefully. Where bike parking racks aren’t available, try to arrange with your office to have your bike stored somewhere safe or if it is possible to have some bike parking racks installed somewhere near.
J - And not the least important – have fun and enjoy riding your bike
Observe the surroundings, the nature, enjoy the exercise and have some mental rest while doing this. Bike riding is good for your body and good for your soul as well. Enjoy it.