Making Bike Commuting
Work for Youby Jill Florio -
Save money and get fit. Cycling to
work is the key. Actually, anyone can do it, said Steve Cooke, shipping and
receiving manager of Supergo cycling retailer, Chandler. You really dont have
to be super fit. You have to be realistic about biking in 30 miles, but if
someone can do a nice, 10-mile ride at a steady pace, then they can definitely
bike to work.
Cooke pointed out, A lot of the
buses have bike racks, so people can take the bus part of the way and bike the
rest of it.
Jones said he hopes folks will give
it a try and discover how easy and enjoyable a bike commute can be.
John Cherry, wrench and sales staff
at Flagstaffs Absolute Bikes, said one of the first things to consider is
the length of the trip. For a short cruise across town, add a couple of paired
saddlebags, known as panniers, to your average road or mountain bike. For
longer bike commutes, you need appropriate tires, with Cherry advising to stick
to narrow slicks for road trips or a set of knobbies for off-road short-cuts.
Before you Ride
that equipment that is in good condition is a must for a safe and fun commute.
Take a long look at your bike. If you havent been riding regularly, the tires
might be flat. The chain could be rusted. The lube might have morphed into
putty. Fix it up yourself or drop it off and let your local bike pros get it
As long as the bike is well
maintained, you can use it, said Cooke. Wear the proper safety
gear, too, like proper clothes for the weather, a helmet and maybe a reflective
Proper gear includes an approved
biking helmet, a U-shaped lock, a hydropack or water bottle with cage, light
rain jacket/windbreaker, something in which to haul stuff and a headlight. For
the serious bike commuter, Cherry also recommends:
Bike commuters offered some basic
tips to make the commute an easier deal. If there's isn't a shower at work,
clean up with babywipes. They pack well in a Ziplock and smell good. Also, pack
your work clothes for long, sweaty commutes and change at the office. Make sure
to select wrinkle-resistant attire and leave enough slush time for transforming
from carefree athlete to serious worker bee.
- BOB Trailer - Great for lugging
groceries, library books and laundry runs. There are off-road models with
- Laptop Bag - Jandd makes a bag that
clips on to your rack, with a waterproof cover.
- Courier Bag - Wear one of
Timbuktus colorful, sturdy bike bags or try Overland's backpack with a
compartment for a laptop and business styling.
- A Good Bike Light - Not only it is
the law in some cities, it is common sense to have a good light on your bike or
- Warm bike gloves, warm bike socks
and a fleece pullover.
- Fenders - Prevent rain and mud from
flying up on your back.
- Studded Tires - Consider them if
you are commuting in ice and snow.
Cherry also suggests wearing a light
windbreaker or rain jacket over your work clothes for short commutes. Even a
$20 plastic pullover will do the trick and some riders even wear trash bags
over their clothes. Just pull it off and youre clean and ready to go.
Pant leg protectors keep dirty chains off your suit or stockings or you can
invest in an add-on chain guard.
If you can't bring your beast inside
the premises, make sure you have a heavy-duty lock. Buy a super lock and leave
it at work. According to Cherry, a U-Lock beats a cable. He recommended pulling
off the front wheel and slinging the lock through it and the frame, firmly
clamping everything to a solid bike rack or post or tree.
If you need a reason to trade in the
car for your bike, Cherry offered this, Since I moved to Flagstaff a
couple of years ago, I went down from 210 pounds to 170 pounds. Im in
better shape at 35 than I was at 18. This is just from commuting.
BIKE COMMUTING WEBSITES
Bicycle Commuting Now
Jennifer's Bicycle Commuting Suggestions
Paul Dorn's Bike
Bike To Work