Bike commuting can be an overwhelming experience. It is healthy and energizing. But safety and comfort come first If you consider hopping on a cycle to go to work.
You should look out for many things if you haven’t paddled for a long time. It can make you uncomfortable and confused. Even dangerous if you can’t get the gist of what you are doing.
If you keep a few things in mind, it’s not that challenging. Your goal is to make the commuting experience fun, safe, convenient, and comfortable. Be it a regular rider or a first-timer.
In the meantime, read these thirteen useful tips that will come in handy if you plan to use a bike.
1. Proper Practice.
You must practice more if you haven’t paddled a bike in years. Go to your local parks or driveways for a casual session. The goal is to make yourself comfortable on a bike.
Taking the wheels on the road can be dangerous without proper practice. That’s why you need to work carefully on the range and balance.
2. Bike Check.
Always make a weather check on your bike before riding it. Give a thorough look at chains, breaks, and tires. Fill some air into the tires if they seem a bit flabby. Use an organic brush to clean off the chains.
If you have time constraints, take your bike to the local repair shop to get a tune-up on your bike.
3. Measure the Distance.
It sure is fun to have grand plans for riding to your work with a bike. But knowing your limit is important as well. If your office isn’t far from your home, then it’s okay. What if the distance is more than a couple of miles?
The worst thing that can happen is you giving up in the middle of the road soaking in sweat. That’s why it is imperative to understand the distance. If you think that you can’t do the two-way ride, take a bus and make it one way. But take everything slowly.
4. Safety Gears.
Safety gears are your best friend if you are commuting by bike. While cycling, you should always ensure the safety of your head first. And never wear cheap helmets.
We don’t expect you to fall off the bike but wear knee and elbow guards for safety reasons. A slight scrape can spoil your whole day.
5. Riding Partner.
You can learn useful things from an experienced commuter. Try to tag along with them whenever you can. Try the local bike communities if you can’t find any commuting partner. Ride with them on weekends.
An experienced cycler can help you with the jitters. If you find one, let them lead first to get yourself comfortable with the useful techniques.
6. Spatial Awareness.
Always keep an eye on the things happening around you. You don’t want to hit a toddler or an animal while riding your bike. Also, never overtake other vehicles. But if it is an emergency, try looking both ways before attempting to overtake.
Always give a shoulder check while turning. And don’t forget to pay attention to car signals.
7. Cycling Outfit.
Do not wear your work clothes while riding a bike. Carry a bag and put your clothes in it. We know you want to stay healthy. But dressing well for work is also important.
Wear cycling shorts while riding. In addition, wear a reflective safety vest as well. Thus, other drivers can see you more. Wearing a safety vest is as important as wearing a helmet.
8. Hand Signals.
It is important to make yourself predictable on the road. Learning hand signals can take you a long way. It can keep you safe. And the cars behind you can make proper turns.
Use general hand signals if you think the driver behind you is unaware of proper hand gestures. Just raise one of your hands slightly to make a high five sign. It’s a signal for allowing them an overtake.
9. Know the Route.
Always check for the roads that have bike lanes. Any road should be fine for you but always look for low-traffic roads. Keep your google map active while commuting.
Knowing your route is also important. Always check on alternate routes before hitting the road. Getting lost on the road is the worst thing to happen to a bike rider.
10. Get Signal Lights.
Signal lights are important if you are on a two-way ride. You can make yourself visible in daylight. But real problems take place at night times. You can’t make hand signals, and drivers can’t read your movements.
You control signal lights with a button attached near your handle. Making the proper signal will give other drivers an idea about your next move. It’s an excellent device for making yourself visible at night as well.
11. Follow the Rules.
Every road has its own rules for traffic management. Always keep your bike in the right lane. And always obey traffic signals. You may find signs like the “Idaho Sign” that are made for cyclists and commuters only.
But the best way is to follow standard traffic laws to keep everyone safe.
12. Parked Cars.
Keep an eye on the parked cars. Often, a passenger from inside can hit a cyclist. Look out for opened doors. If you see slight movement on a door, reduce your speed for safety.
Potholes are bikers’ archenemy. You can take a huge bump if you are not careful enough. A deep pothole can total your tires completely. You’ll lose your wheel if you are really unlucky.
Bike commuting to work is fun. If you are not careful enough about certain things, the riding will just become a stressful experience for you. Try to reflect on the tips that you read here. Rest assured, your ride will be fun, safe and amazing. Good Luck!