Bicycle Commuting Tips

How to Ride Your Bike to Work in 10 Easy Steps

Find a bike

. Almost any bike will do, a half-dozen different kinds of bike will fit the bill. If you don’t already have a bike, an old mountain bike, a well-worn 3-speed, a forgotten beach cruiser, or an old-school 10-speed will each make a fine commuter bike, given the proper refurbishing.

Pump up the tires, lube the chain, check the brakes

… or if you’re not mechanically inclined, take the bike down to your friendly local bike shop and have them give it the once-over. Tell them you’re planning to start riding to work; some bike shops offer a commuter special to folks like you.

Buy a few necessary things for a preparedness kit

, like a spare tube, a patch kit, a set of plastic tire levers, a simple pump, and a multi-tool. Consider investing in a cable lock or U-lock and a flashing red taillight.

Find a place for your new preparedness kit

. Put everything in an under-the-seat bag or in a special compartment inside your backpack. Resist the urge to borrow things from it or to move it around too often; leave it all there until you need it.

Find your helmet

. Wear it.

Find a Velcro strap or a metal clip

to attach around the cuff of your right pant-leg so you don’t get any clothing stuck in the chain or sprocket. In a pinch a rubber band will do, or you can be truly stylish and roll up your right pant leg.

Be aware of the weather

. Dress accordingly and be ready for things to change. No special clothing is required; wear more-or-less what you would wear normally, given the forecast, with a little more wind protection since you will be going so fast. A compact rain jacket is a nice addition to your preparedness kit.

Put your hands on the bars, throw a leg over the bike, and PEDAL!

You’ll remember how.

Pedal in the general direction of your place of work

; feel free to deviate at-will from your normal, well-worn, over-crowded car route as much as time and whimsy will allow!

Take your bike inside and stash it somewhere secure

, or find a safe place to lock it up outside. Start work feeling happy and alive. Reflect positively on the fact that you’re now a small part of the solution! Smile, ‘cause when your work day is done you get to do it all over again!