Summer is the perfect time to start cycling to work. Cycling is the fastest growing transportation mode in Canada. People decide to ride their bikes to work to get some exercise, be kinder to the planet, lose the car expense or just to enjoy the commute. Whatever the reason, congratulations for taking this positive step in your life.
We’ve got a few suggestions for those of you making this change, gleaned from folks who’ve been commuting to work for a long time. They all felt a little anxiety, as you likely do, so read on for their tips on how to reduce it.
Plan Your Route
Choose your course and do a pre-ride on the weekend. You want to ensure it’s a safe route. Aim for quieter streets with dedicated bike lanes. Know where you can park your bike and store your riding gear ahead of time.
Allow Yourself Plenty of Time
You don’t want to be stressed out when you arrive at work so always give yourself more than enough time. You might even want to work in the time to enjoy your favourite morning beverage on your way in.
Do a Progressive Build Up
Don’t make the mistake of trying to cycle to work full time right out the gate. Take it slow. Start with with one day a week. Then add a day the next week and so on. This will give your body, and especially your butt, time to adjust.
Choosing a Bike
First of all, buy a bike that you’ll ride. For commuting to work you’ll want a bike that can take on smooth, bumpy and sometimes dirt roads. We’ve got some great commuter bikes in the shop now. Check out our website and then come in to have a first hand look. We’re confident we’ll have something to suit you. Whatever you use, make sure your bike is in good working order. Pump up your tires and oil your chain. Remember you’ll need lights if you’re riding at night.
Be predictable. Don’t be that cyclist swerving in and out of traffic. Be visible. Make eye contact whenever possible. Don’t worry about holding up other traffic. Be alert. This means you lose the earplugs. You need all your senses working for you. Never go up the inside of a truck, bus or van at traffic lights as there’s a good chance they won’t see you.
Invest in some good cycling clothing. You don’t need to go crazy but you want to wear a top made of wicking fabric to keep the sweat off your skin. You’ll need a good windproof jacket. A pair of overtrousers comes in handy in rainy weather. Always wear gloves. You don’t want to arrive at work all scraped up.
Keeping a change of clothes at work is always a good idea. Don’t bother carrying your work shoes back at forth every day. Stash them at work to lighten your load.
Keep what you need at work so that you smell nice. Your co-workers will appreciate this.Relax, take it easy and enjoy the scenery. Just go at your own pace.