- Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 March 2015 14:14
- Published: Thursday, 10 July 2014 04:50
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The bike is a product of a genius who thought that no one should ever be deprived of travelling and not being able to enjoy doing it on two wheels. But the bike is not only for fun – it can be used both for fun and serious activities, such as biking to work. There are plenty of accounts that you can read in the internet about people who have biked all over the world and have logged thousands of kilometres on their bikes. That’s serious business but we can be sure that these bikers have enjoyed every kilometre of their treks around the world. We have also written somewhere here in this webpage about some reasons for not biking to work and how to overcome oppositions. Let us now try to offer some useful tips to those who bravely took the challenge and indeed have started to bike to work.
|"Biking in a familiar place at the beginning will help you concentrate on improving your riding skills and also help develop techniques on accident avoidance and your observation skills."|
1. Consider the distance, including the road and traffic conditions where you intend to bike to work.
As a beginner, you may be too zealous and think you can do a 10 kilometer bike to work immediately after you learn to bike. Instead, make sure to scout the route first, observe road conditions and traffic situations where you intend to pass. If you are used to taking public transportation and you decide to pass thru the same route, try to sit where you can get a good view of the roads where you pass. Take notes of what you see so you can assess later if you really want to go by that route. If you have a car or ride a taxi to work, try to look for side roads parallel to major ones that you can use. Ask the taxi driver for alternative routes you can take. He will know some good ones.
2. Consider the shape you are in.
You might want to consult your doctor first to make sure that you are fit enough. You could ask to have an exercise stress test or treadmill test to determine your heart condition and fitness level. He might recommend that you bike with a maximum speed of 15 kilometers per hour or less, depending on the results. Don’t start by telling yourself you can’t do it. Of course you can, and as you gain experience and log more kilometres, your strength and endurance will go up too. Bike at your own pace and you will discover how fast you can go on certain stretches of the road without getting too tired. (image from WebMD)
If you already own a bike and you think you have enough biking skills to defend yourself on the road, go ahead and start biking to work today ...
3. Consider the load you will have to carry.
Many bikers to work bring a set of work clothes with them. But if you are lucky enough to work in a bike friendly company, you should have a locker where you can keep a week’s supply of fresh clothes so you don’t have to bring them with you everyday. If you need to carry a laptop, make sure that you have an appropriate bag where you can place the laptop securely. You might want to get a pannier where you can place all your things and not have to carry them on your back while biking. A pannier is a bag or set of bags that you can put at the rear rack of the bike. You can put all your work supplies inside, including tire repair tools, raincoat or even a small umbrella if you want.
4. Consider practice cycling around your neighborhood.
This will increase your confidence and skill level. Biking in a familiar place at the beginning will help you concentrate on improving your riding skills and also help develop techniques on accident avoidance and your observation skills. Try to bike at the speed you would go on your regular bike to work. You can learn to bike smartly and be ready to face the challenges of the roads later on.
5. Consider inviting a co-worker to bike with you, or some one you know who is an experienced biker to show you the proper riding techniques.
He can also help you find the right bike, show you the best route to take, and above all, be with you on an adventure on the road on board your bike, even if it is a short one. For the best option, you can contact the Firefly Brigade for more information on how you can successfully begin to bike to work. You can even ask them to introduce a bike to work program in your company. We also offer Urban Riding Etiquette Lessons for free every 2nd Sunday of the month. The skills you learn from them will be invaluable to every biker to work.
If you have other tips that could help other bike to work newbies, please post them on the comments section below.