5.18.2010

in the name of BIKE MONTH: a quick list of TEN TIPS TO MAKE BICYCLE COMMUTING MORE FLUID


TEN TIPS TO MAKE BICYCLE COMMUTING MORE FLUID


1. if you lock you bike up at work... leave your bicycle lock at work

if you need the lock to go to happy hour... then bring it
I would recommend owning a second lock for weekend and post work rides
why carry the lock and all that weight back and forth?
would it be worth the 30 bucks to save your back?


2. if you use just one bike for commuting... customize that bike for commuting
of course use a seat that you feel comfortable with
but also consider FENDERS and a RACK
fenders make the wet days less wet

the rack allows you to "get it off your back" and to carry a few more things than you would if you just had a back pack
a basket may work as an alternate option... GO CUSTOM!

if it is a mountain bike... get slick tires.. lose the knobbies
if it is a road bike... get touring over racing width tires


3. leave some clothing at work

definitely leave your SHOES at work... bike in one pair of shoes... work in another pair of shoes

the same could go for most of your clothing
use the dry cleaner by your office and store your suit at work

ride in riding gear
then work in your work clothes

it can work to leave slacks, shirt, shoes at work and only bring clean socks, underwear, and under shirt each day

4. keep a clean up kit at work
something more than just deodorant... but deodorant is a good start

a shower bucket and shower shoes if you have a shower at work

extend that to some flip flops for the shower... athletes foot sucks for athletes and non-athletes

razor... shaving cream... soap... deodorant... tooth brush... whatever

keep it at work


5. ride with a spare tube and proper tools

a cell phone is nice to have... but fixing the flat yourself is easy enough
carry what you need
if you can not fix it... someone else will stop their bike and fix it for you
cyclists are different than car drivers

a cyclist will stop and lend aid

and if you are a super hot woman... several cyclists will stop to offer aid

a short ride can end up being a long walk if you do not have a spare tube or the proper tools
when riding your bike carry a spare tube, patch kit, and the basic bicycle tools

6. if you ignore recommendation number one... then put your lock in your backpack

do not ride with your lock in you hand or bouncing around on your handlebars
for that matter... no parcel should be hanging from your handlebars
that is a plastic bag in your spokes away from the ER


7. anticipate the weather

check the weather before you suit up for the day
over dressing and under dressing can dictate the level of pleasure that you experience
buy some nice gear
good gear lasts
rain jacket and rain pants make the rain more endurable

8. Have your stuff ready the night before

have your work clothes ready the night before
have your bike ready the night before
nothing worse then rushing for the door and realizing you don't have your belt
or getting to work and realizing you have to "go commando" because you forgot the underwear
another glitch... rushing for the door and realizing that you forgot that you had a flat tire when you got home the night prior

9. Be Safe... Be Smart... Be Seen
ride where you can be seen
put yourself somewhere where the car drivers can see you
avoid riding in a car driver's blind spot
make eye contact with car drivers around you
see them and be sure they see you
at night... wear a helmet mount light and shine it at the driver to make your presence known
put your bike somewhere where it appears in the driver's rear view mirror
have reflective tape on your bike... at night have lights to SEE AND BE SEEN

10. Ride with Common Sense and Common Courtesy

ride within your limits
understand in the fight between the car and the bike that the car has a distinct size advantage... respect that
treat others as you would wish to be treated
there is a good chance that if you repeat the same route at the same time each day you may see the same car drivers each day
building a positive relationship would be better than building a negative relationship with the car drivers around you
inspired by my off the top of my head...


TEN QUICK TIPS TO THE FIRST TIME BICYCLE COMMUTER

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