Cycling to work has all kinds of benefits. It has significant health advantages and does wonders for the environment by reducing emissions. In fact, registered bike-to-work participants in British Columbia reduced CO2 emissions by 291,999 Kilograms in the last year alone. They also burned over 40,400,000 calories in just one week in 2016!
While cycling to work can be healthy and exciting, it can also be somewhat daunting if you have never done it before. You can use the following tips to make your first ride to work easier and safer. Hopefully these tips will allow you to continue the practice on a regular basis.
1. Do some advanced planning.
Planning ahead of time can take away some of the confusion and concern of riding your bike to work. Check for bike routes that you can use to get to work easier and safer. Incorporating these routes into your trip can cut down on the amount of time that you have to wait for other traffic or pedestrians and increase your visibility as well. You should also try to use side streets, instead of busy roads, wherever possible.
Doing a “practice run” on the weekend or in the evening can take some of the first-time jitters out of the experience and allow you to correct any paths or roads that may not work well for your route.
2. Prepare and maintain your bike.
Maintaining your bike properly can help ensure a safe and smooth ride as well. Check to be sure all of the essentials are working properly, including the brakes, chain, and tires. Both brakes, front and rear, should be in working order. You should have your bicycle examined by a bike mechanic on a regular basis, and before you start regularly using your bike to commute to work.
It goes without saying that you should only use a bike that is the right size for you. You should be able to comfortably put your feet on the ground and reach the brakes easily from where your hands rest on the handlebars.
3. Be sure you have all the right gear.
All cyclists are required by law to wear an approved helmet. The helmet must have a CSA, ANSI, ASTM, or SNELL standards approval marking clearly designated on it. You should also have white front headlights, a rear red light, and a rear red reflector. In addition to this required equipment, it is a good idea to have a bike lock to secure your bicycle while you are at work and a bell or horn to warn others of your presence, if necessary. A bell may be required by law in some jurisdictions. You may also want to have a tool kit or pump in case you have tire issues or problems with your chain.
Be sure to also adjust your wardrobe for your ride, if necessary. If you have a longer trip, you may want to change into your work clothes after you get to work. In other situations, you may be able to wear your work clothes on your ride as well. Be sure to double, triple check that you have all the clothes you need to change into at work before you start your commute.
4. Check your workplace for bike facilities.
Some workplaces will have space to lock up your bike, which can be very handy. If there is no space to secure your bike, you may want to use a light pole or another solid, stationary object to lock it up. In some cases, you may be able to bring the bike inside and set it in a closet or other secluded area.
You may also want to inquire about showering facilities for when you get to work, particularly for those hotter days. Are there special preparations you need to make to use these facilities?
Getting Help with Bicycle Accidents
It can be dangerous to bike to work, and if you are injured, you may have a legal claim. Call our personal injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT to discuss your legal options with a member of our personal injury team.