For most of us, finding time to exercise is extremely difficult. Between school or work and family obligations, who has time to get to the gym? Well, one easy way to add exercise to your daily routine, as well as save a bundle as gasoline prices escalate, is commuting by bicycle.
Many adults haven’t ridden a bike since they were kids. But, we shouldn’t overlook the bicycle as a reliable means of transportation, especially when the weather is nice and we live close to work or school. There are a few things you’ll want to know before you begin commuting that will help ensure your commute is safe and enjoyable
#1: Buy a bicycle and helmet that fit you properly
This seems obvious, but buying a bicycle that fits properly is crucial for ensuring a safe and comfortable commute. Everyone doesn’t wear the same size shoe, and everyone doesn’t ride the same size bike. Imagine how uncomfortable walking a mile in size 4 tennis shoes would be if you wore a size 10, no matter how expensive those shoes are. Additionally, helmets are a necessity every time you ride a bike. Your brain is well worth the few dollars you spend on a helmet. Visit a local bicycle shop to help you get fitted for a helmet and will keep your bicycle in good working order.
#2: Scout your route
Safety is of the utmost importance when bicycle commuting. Plan ahead, and find a safe route to your destination. Try to find roads with bicycle lanes, wide shoulders without on-street parking, or bike paths within your community. Be sure to comply with your area’s laws, as some areas limit the places bicycles can travel, and most require bicycles to follow the same traffic laws that automobiles do.
#3: Dress for success
If your office has a dress code, try taking an extra set of clothes to the office in case of inclement weather. Or, take your office clothes in a backpack, or other bag affixed to your bicycle. This allows you to ride to work in different clothes than you plan to work in, if dirty or sweaty clothes are a concern.
#4 Light it up
Make sure cars can see you! This means having a white light on the front of your bike and a red light on the back. These little lights help cars see you and keep you safe. Various models can be purchased from a bike shop or from an online distributor.
#5 An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
Do a daily check to make sure your bicycle is in good working order. Airing up your tires and check your bicycle for wear can save you lots of money and frustration in the long run. It’s also a good idea to carry at least one spare tube, tire levers, and a small pump in case you get a flat tire on your commute. That way, you can make short work of a flat tire and have a great story to tell your coworkers when you get to the office.
Remember, bicycle commuting is a great way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, save money on gas, and have fun! For more information, visit your local bicycle shop, or go to bikecommute.com.