Tomorrow, May 18th is Bike to Work Day and you may be asking yourself one question: “Do I have to wear Spandex to ride my bike to work?” The quick answer is no, not unless you really want to! Commuting by bike should be easy, but we like to make excuses such as, “I can’t commute by bike because I don’t have a carbon fiber bike,” or, “I have to buy all new clothes to ride my bike.”
I’ll help lead an International Parking Institute (IPI) webinar next month on making your parking facility bike-ready. Until then, here are a few tips for bike commuting to help everyone get started:
1. Use what you have. Everyone either has a bike in their garage or knows someone who has a bike they can borrow.
2. If the bike has not been ridden in awhile, make sure it is in good working order before you set off. Complete the ABCs to ensure a bike is road-ready:
A: Check to make sure the tires have the proper amount of Air in them.
B: Check the Brakes for slowing down as well as stopping distance.
C: Gauge the Chain to make sure it is well oiled and will shift properly.
3. Wear the clothes you have. Most people just commute in their work clothes. As long as you take it easy and do not pretend you are competing in the Tour De France, you should be okay.
4. Use Map My Ride or another route-finding technology to find a bike route from your home to work. Keep in mind you most likely will not use the same route that you would in your car. Practice your new route ahead of time so you are comfortable with it and can identify any potential surprises that may arise.
Enjoy the ride to and from work, as it is a great stress reliever to the start and end of your work day. Remember, coffee cup holders are available for most bikes!