Happy Bike Month!
No matter your bicycling experience, Bike Month is a great time to try bike commuting. The high point of Bike Month is Bike To Work Day, May 15th in the USA. So jump on your bike, commute, and celebrate!
Bike commuting is not only fun, it is good for you and the environment. If clean air and improved mental and physical health don’t sway you, what about the bottom line? In 2009, the average annual operating cost of a bicycle is $308, less than 4% that of an average car ($8,220).
As a first time bike commuter, it can seem intimidating. What about the cars? The weather? How to bike commute AND not smell bad at work? Here are five tips to ease your worries.
5 Tips For Beginner Bike Commuters
- Be Traffic Savvy
Yes it is a jungle out there, but you can bike safely through it all.
– Wear a helmet.
– Always assume that drivers can’t see you. When riding, consistently scan for drivers and be prepared for unpredictable moves: car doors opening, sudden stops, surprise turns.
– Be predictable (that’s a good thing). Riding with traffic, stopping at stop signs and lights, signaling your turns and staying in control are key to being a predictable and safe rider.
- Wear Visible Clothing
How’s your day glowing? Neon visible outerwear, bright helmet covers, and reflective ankle bands heighten your safety. Plan your cycle wardrobe to be colorful at every layer, so when you layer up or down you can always be seen.
- Daily bike check
Check yourself, before you wreck yourself. Every morning give your bike a maintenance check: Brakes? Tire pressure? Cables? Chain?
- Clean Yourself
Stock your panniers with baby wipes, a travel towel, and deodorant to freshen up upon your arrival. Your co-workers will love you for it!
- Clean Your Gear
Frequently cleaning your cycling outerwear and layers is a must to keep them breathable and waterproof. For daily bike commuters, you should wash your gear every month. Use the specialized cleaner Tech Wash to remove dirt, grime, and sweat from your synthetic outerwear and gear. When the items need a waterproofing boost, use TX.Direct Wash-In after cleaning to restore water repellency. By removing the dirt and revitalizing the breathability and water repellency, your gear with keep you comfortable and last much longer.
Take these five tips and give bike commuting a try. Good luck, be safe, ride fast!