Save money on gas, get fit, and speed past gridlocked cars with this green commuting routine.
: Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.
Step 1: Get the right bike Get a road bicycle that fits you properly. When seated you should be able to comfortably reach the handlebars, and your knee should have a 30 degree bend when the pedal is at its lowest position.
Step 2: Get the gear Get a helmet and other safety equipment including front and rear lights, and a reflective safety vest for riding at night.
Step 3: Stock up Stock a backpack for the commute with necessities like a bike lock, air pump, and a patch kit or extra tube. Make sure to save room for your work clothes. For any additional cargo, put a basket on your bike.
TIP: Consider packing a poncho or rain suit for wet weather.
Step 4: Wear proper attire Wear the right attire for the ride. This isn't the Tour de France, so spandex and cleats aren't necessary. Wear comfortable clothes that breathe and won't restrict movement. Depending on the weather, you may only need to change shirts.
Step 5: Learn to ride in traffic Get comfortable with riding on the road by reading up on traffic laws. Then, start riding streets that aren't very busy, slowly working your way up to heavier traffic if you need to navigate crowded roads on your route.
Step 6: Practice riding to work Plan a route and practice riding to work on a weekend. Time yourself; then add 10 minutes, so you don't feel rushed when you first try the route on a weekday.
TIP: Incorporate public transit for long commutes. Many buses have bike racks and most subways and trains allow bicycles on board.
Step 7: Store your bike at work Find a place to store your bike when you get to work. Keep it in a storage closet, or if you have your own roomy office, store it there. If you can't keep the bike inside, lock it up outside and take the front wheel with you to prevent theft.
Step 8: Freshen up Freshen up after your ride with a toiletry kit you leave at work. Wipe down with a washcloth or disposable wipes, apply deodorant, change into your work clothes, and spray on a little cologne or perfume. Now you're ready to work after an invigorating start to your day!
FACT: Research shows that trips of three miles or less are actually quicker by bike than by car.