This week (May 16-20, 2016) is National Bike to Work Week. Friday the 20th is National Bike to Work day. Try it, we bet you’ll like it!
So what does it take to commute to work by bike? Nothing more than a bike, really. Sure, you can add a rack and bags and panniers to your bike to make hauling all your gear with you to work, but if you plan it right, you can ride your bike to work with nothing other than what you are wearing. Plan ahead: stash extra clothes and whatever else you need at work the day before. Most other excuses we use to avoid riding to work can be just as easily overcome:
- It’s too far: Break it up! Put your bike on your car and drive part of the way to work; park, then ride your bike the rest of the way. Or, drive to work and ride home; then ride to work the next day and drive home.
- It’s too hot/I’ll get too sweaty: Get there 15-30 minutes early so you’ll have time to cool down and clean off in the bathroom before you start work.
- It’s too cold / rainy: Proper clothes will help you stay comfortable no matter the weather. There are actually people who commute to work all year round in places like Seattle and Alaska!
- The roads are too dangerous: This one can be tougher to negotiate when riding with traffic frightens you. However, the more people commute to work by bike, the safer the roads will become, for two reasons: there will be fewer cars (since you are on a bike!), and motorists will become more aware of and accustomed to driving around cyclists. You may benefit from riding with others who are more comfortable riding with traffic so that you can learn the techniques and laws that will help keep you safe on your journey to work. The most important thing you can do to make your commute safer is to make sure you are visible: bright colored clothing, front and rear lights, proper signaling, and taking the lane appropriately. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have on how to make yourself visible or ride appropriately in traffic.
- I don’t have a bike: Stop in at Element Sports! We’ll help you choose the best bike for your needs, and make sure you are ready to go.
There are so many benefits to riding to work; here are just a few:
- The early exercise will invigorate you and give you energy throughout the day.
- The exercise will keep you fit/help you to lose weight.
- You’ll save money. Even short trips will save money on gas and wear and tear on your vehicle. Even a two mile trip by bike instead of by car can save you over $1 (AAA estimates the cost per mile of commuting by car to be 58.5¢/mile) Depending on your commute, that could add up to several hundred or even thousands of dollars!
- Riding a bicycle is less frustrating than sitting in a car. In fact, riding a bike is just plain enjoyable!!
And if for one reason or another commuting to work by bicycle just isn’t feasible for you? You don’t have to miss out entirely! Most trips by car are less than two miles – to the store, church, baseball practice, etc. You can use your bike for most all short errands, and it will hardly add any time to the errand. For that matter, when the trips are that short, it often is actually quicker by bicycle. Also, those one-two mile trips are the worst kind of wear on your car, but the best kind on your bike/body.
So, give commuting by bike a try this week, especially on Friday. And to help you do so, Element Sports is offering 10% off on commuting accessories through May 23: racks, bags, panniers, and fenders.
Get Out! Have Fun!