The first 6 months of my bike commuting experience was a lot harder than I expected it to be. I started riding my bike to work simply because my car broke down and I didn’t have the money to fix it at the time. Things are very different now than when I first started. I learned several lessons, the hard way, which helped make my commute smoother in the long run.
1 – Choosing the Correct Bike for Commuting
When I started riding my bike to work, I had a very different bike. You see, I was not a cyclist and the only bike I had at my disposal was a rusty old beach cruiser. The bike had no gears and the braking system was that of a children’s bike or BMX bike where you have to pedal backwards to stop. To say the least, it was horrible. Going uphill was certainly a challenge.
About a month in I finally decided to buy a different bike. So, I bought a 10 speed at a garage sale in hopes to make things easier. Well, it did make a world of difference! About a week later I decided to buy a much better model. I had the money to fix my car but decided to splurge and buy a Raleigh. This was a game changer! This bike cut my commute time in half, twice. I was no longer struggling up hills or coming to work drenched in sweat. Knowing which bike to use and what brand to buy will make all the difference in the world. So consider all the angles before choosing a bike for your commute.
2 – Not Only was it Good for Myself but the Environment Too
I lost a ton of weight once I started commuting by bicycle. I was not in the best of shape to begin with which is why it was very difficult to motivate myself to ride my bike to work every day instead of calling a cab or an UBER. But instead I persevered and I am glad that I did because I am now in the best shape of my life. I just feel better in general, healthier. It also helped my stress levels and my sleep schedule which in turn made a very positive mark on my sunny disposition or lack thereof.
While it was making me healthier, it was also cutting back on harmful emissions from my car. Even though it was just one car, I still felt like I was part of the solution, not the problem.
3 – The Amount of Money I Saved
By using my bike as transportation instead of my car, I saved quite a bit of money. Of course, gasoline was the biggest constant cost that I saved on but I also saved on any repairs and general upkeep my car needed regularly. Yes, there is upkeep and maintenance to be done on a bicycle, but compared to what a car needs, its miles away from the actual cost in savings.
When my bike needed new tires, they were close in comparison to what I would have paid for cheap tires for my car, but I only needed two tires and they lasted me longer than 4 tires on my car would have.
4 – Safety First. No Matter What!
Most people in cars will not see you. It’s not that they don’t care, although there are those types of people on the road, but it’s simply because they do not see you. It is up to you to make sure drivers on the road can see you so try to dress with bright or reflective colors to alert them. Also make sure and know the law about where you are supposed to ride a bicycle. Some places do not even allow them on the sidewalks. Always use hand signals or attachable blinkers and always wear protective gear such as a helmet.
5 – Make Sure Your Bike and Gear are Always Ready for any Condition
Bad weather conditions will definitely slow you down but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still commute by bike. Make sure your bike is always well taken care of and ready to be ridden at any given moment. Wear the proper gear to suit the weather conditions and if needed, carry a back pack with an extra change of clothes in case you need them when you get to work. You are limited on what you can carry on a bike so make sure it counts.
Photos are pixabay creative commons
Guest Author Bio
Daniel Atlas is a cycling enthusiast who encourages people to add this awesome activity to their lifestyle. He started Rydoze to shares his knowledge on biking.