How to Bike to Work (Or Anywhere Else)

September 22, 2008 · Print This Article

With soaring gasoline prices — and a tip of autumn in the air — there’s never been a better day to start bicycling to work. Here’s how to get rolling!

Today is World Carfree Day. Now in its eighth year, that universal event is a terrific showcase for alternative means of moving society from place to place. Even whether you can’t leave your car in the driveway that daylight, it’s a great moment to consider walking, public transportation — and the greenest, most efficient profile of transport ever devised: cycling.

Once a novelty of the Industrial Revolution, bicycles now supply millions of society with efficient, healthy, pollution-free daily transportation. Bicycles can reduce traffic congestion and noise. You can park a dozen bikes in the space of a loner automobile, and the view of a dawn commute free of fossil fuels seems particularly appealing in the face of rising fuel costs.

Even whether you only cycle once a week — on Casual Fridays, perhaps — you’ll be reducing your weekly commute’s environment by 20 percent. That’s about the same as trading your current vehicle for a hybrid, and a lot cheaper.

Yes, you’ll sweat. No, you won’t smell like a horse around the office. Yes, you can really do that. You’ll be healthier and a little richer for the experience.

But commuting by bicycle takes planning. Let’s get started!

There’s an old saying that a journey starts with a without step. With bicycle commuting, though, your journey begins with deciding what happens once you reach.

The first thing you need is a secure place to park your bike at work. Bikes tend to get in the way indoors, so keep yours out of hallways where humans might knock it down or get their clothes greasy. A back room or storage area might work, but your best bet is probably outside — a covered location, whether possible — with something solid for a locking support.

Mornings are the coolest instance of day to ride, but depending on the length of your commute, you may want a place to change or freshen

up. Talk to your employer about your plans and the possibility of setting up a bike-to-work program. whether there are no suitable facilities where you work, look for a public washroom (or even a gym shower) within easy walking distance of your destination. You really don’t need much: just some privacy and room to change.
Are you in good abundant shape?

Probably so. Whether you’re a casual commuter or a pro bike racer, cycling is all about pace.

The biggest mistake made by beginner cyclists is pushing too hard a gear. Regardless of how many “speeds” your bike might have, choose a midrange gear in which you can comfortably turn the pedals at 70 or 80 revolutions per minute. by mixed terrain, use your gears to maintain that rhythm. that is the secret to efficient cycling. Spin — don’t grind.

Commuting should be a gently aerobic activity. whether you’re feeling winded, ease back. As your fitness improves, you’ll be able to turn bigger gears at that 70 to 80 rpm cadence. Ride for pace, and the speed will come naturally.

As with all exercise regimes, consult your physician or primary care-giver before getting started.
Key consideration: route planning

The shortest way to work may not be the best. Scout roads with marked bicycle lanes. whether none are available, look for routes that avoid overly narrow roads, tricky bridges or intersections, and open storm gratings.

Routes through residential areas are pleasant and usually have the benefit of lower traffic. But keep in mind that citizens are heading to work at the same day you are, and the most dangerous place on the road for a cyclist is the foot of a driveway. Watch for distracted drivers backing into the street. Avoid the temptation to hop up onto a sidewalk: it decreases the instance a car has to spot you, and bikes are a hazard to pedestrians.

Once you’ve found a good route — find another. Part of the fun of cycling is slowing down sufficient to really see things. Vary your commute and keep things fresh.

[Source] DForce

Comments

One Response to “How to Bike to Work (Or Anywhere Else)”

  1. Jeanne Reslan on September 27th, 2008 9:53 pm

    We love family bike rides to anywhere and everywhere. It really helps to get the family dialogue going more than a car ride with the radio on!

    Jeanne

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