Over the past few weeks, I’ve ridden my bike to work and around town by desire and necessity. Each day was a new learning experience. I’ve been through sweaty days, crashes, fun rides, and more so the following are my ten commandments of biking to work:
1. Wear your helmet. Wether you have hair or not, you need to wear a helmet. You can fix your hair but you can’t fix your head. You can recover from a fall on the way to work but without a helmet you wont make it in that day.
2. Get a RoadID. This is a great way to get information to first responders if you have an accident and are unconscious or unable to communicate. The best $20 you can spend and you can find discount codes online.
3. Get a $3 ankle strap. You will probably ride in slacks at some point and without a strap you will, without a doubt, get caught in your gears. The straps are also reflective so they can help you at night.
4. Don’t wear your work shirt on your ride. Wear an undershirt or t-shirt on your way in so you don’t sweat all over your work shirt. This will also help cover up any dirt if you happen to fall on your way in.
5. Stock your office with a freshness kit. Deodorant, changes of clothes, cologne, water bottle, and towel. This will help you not stink up the room for the rest of the day.
6. Make sure your supervisor knows you bike to work. This way your supervisor will be a little more flexible with a variable arrival time based on ride time. Your supervisor may also be able to help you find a good place to keep your bike where you know it will be safe.
7. Get to know people at work who have cars. If you have an incident and need a ride to work or help getting to a bike shop, these relationships will be invaluable.
8. Make friends with a local bike shop. If you get to know the owner and the employees they can do work for you quickly since they know you need your bike for transport in and around town.
9. Make sure you ride on safe roads, bike paths are preferable. Narrow roads without a good bike path are not advisable. Especially if you are riding to a university, students drive very fast when they are late to class.
10. If you ride in or home at night make sure you get a good front and rear light set. In the dark it is actually law to have at least a front bike light (Check local ordinances) but many people don’t do it. This is crazy dangerous (I just did it last week and immediately ordered a light) so don’t do it!
If you follow these 10 commandments you will get to and from work every day in a safe a fun way and you will find yourself getting in shape quickly. You will also have a new level of energy for the day and may not need your five shots of espresso in the morning. Not to mention saving tons of money on gas.
Good luck and safe riding!
For some more ideas of riding street smart, check out this website