Top tips for commuting by bike
If you are new to riding or haven't ever used your bike to commute to work, here are a few top tips that should help you enjoy your ride.
1. Find the Bike
You don't need to invest in the latest and greatest gear, any bike will do as long as it is in good working order. If it hasn't been ridden in a while book it for a service with your local bike shop.
2. Important accessories
A helmet is a must (and the law in some places), and a good-fitting, comfortable helmet will help you enjoy the ride. Bike lights for front and rear are essential and USB rechargeable options with a selection of steady-state and flashing options provide the most flexibility. Invest in a good quality bike lock to secure your ride and get yourself hi-vis and reflective gear to improve your visibility to other road users. Finally carrying a repair kit (tyre levers, inner tube, pump/CO2 canister) will help get you out of a sticky situation if you get a puncture.
3. Research the route
The cycle route will not always be the same as the driving route, so do some research before you head off. Look for bike paths and lanes, and research shortcuts to help avoid busy roads. Cycle with groups of friends or colleagues or join Facebook groups in your area to find riders traveling to similar locations. Allow extra time for your first ride just in case you take a wrong turn!
4. Follow the road rules
Check the specific road rules for the location you are riding as rules can vary. Stop at red lights or stop signs, give way as indicated by road signs and give hand signals when changing direction. Be careful of car doors opening in your path, and only ride on paths when permitted to do so.
5. Smile and have fun!
Cycling to work is fun and helps get you in the right frame of mind to start your day. Acknowledge other cyclists with a smile, take in the fresh air and enjoy the ride and all the benefits it brings!