May 2010
-pdf version

Tips for Commuting by Bicycle

You’d be surprised at how much you can get done on a bicycle with just a little planning.

  • If you want to commute by bike to work, try driving your proposed route ahead of time, looking for safety issues and road conditions. There may be a parallel side road that is safer for a bike than your usual route by car.
  • To estimate commute time, start by guessing that you will be riding 10-12 mph.
  • If you are commuting to work, pack your work clothes and carry them, or leave them at the office the day before you ride. At least leave heavy work shoes at the office.
  • A morning ride of 10 miles shouldn’t leave you too sweaty but baby wipes and a change of clothes should be all you need to be office-ready if your office doesn’t have shower facilities.
  • Errands like trips to the pharmacy, the library, the barber, the bank, and even the grocery store can be done on a bike. True, you don’t want to try to carry two gallons of milk and a case of canned goods, but you can get a couple days' worth of groceries in a backpack.
  • Map your route to ensure a safe trip and to reduce backtracking. Save your heaviest load for the last stop if possible. A backpack can get top heavy so if you really want to be efficient, get baskets or carriers.

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