Bike commuting is great, it saves money on gas, gives you a workout, and helps reduce city traffic, but it can be hard to get into for the first time. We've put together a few quick tips to help reduce some of the stress for a first-time commuter.
First Time Commuter?
Don't worry, commuting is a fun and safe way to get around any city, but take your bike out for a few practice spins on quiet roads ahead of time. Make sure you're comfortable using the brakes and gears and that your bike is in good working order. A few good practice rides will greatly reduce your stress that first day that you ride your bike in to work.
When you're riding a bike, you're considered a vehicle, just like any car on the road, so it's important to follow proper road laws so cars and other cyclist know where you're going. Stop at lights and stop signs, and use hand signals to signal your intent to turn. Riding predictably will help prevent any nasty encounters with cars or other cyclists!
Wearing light colored or reflective clothing any time on the bike is smart, but at night it is a necessity for safety. Also make sure you have at least one light on the front of your bike (white) and one on the rear (red), more is better. Some states even have laws requiring bike lights to be used after dark. Lights are cheap and easy to set up, if you don't have any, check out this low-cost set that we love.
Need to bring nice clothes to the office? Hang your suit or sport coat in a dry-cleaning bag, then gently roll them up before putting them on your bike rack or in your panniers.
Don't Skimp on Your Lock
Whether you're commuting on a high-end $2,000 rig or a bike you got from Craigslist for $50, there's nothing worse than returning from your errands to find your bike has disappeared. Always us a U-lock to lock your bike to a solid post, and for added protection use an additional cable lock to protect your wheels. Don't forget to remove any bike lights when you lock up your bike as well, they only take 5 seconds for a thief to make off with. We recommend the Kryptonite U-Lock for maximum security.