Cycling regularly is a great way to maintain your general fitness levels and improve your health. According to research, cycling to work can make you a much healthier and happier person. That doesn’t even include the amount of money you’ll save on commuting costs. However, making this kind of transition isn’t easy. You’ll need to make some special preparations and start slow in order to turn this into a healthy habit that will prolong your life.
4 Essential Tips for Bike Commute Beginners
Start slow and be realistic about what you can achieve
You shouldn’t try to ride all the way to work when you are only starting (unless your office is rather close to home). First, you need to set achievable goals, like biking your way to and from work twice a week. Depending on the distance, it might be better to ride to the office one day and keep your bike there overnight so you can ride back the next.
The idea is not to abuse your muscles and let your body get used to this new workout gradually. Note that you shouldn’t push it even if you are in good shape. Not only does bike riding work different muscles, but you also need to train your mind for this activity. Commuting to work by bike is very different from riding in a park for fun.
In the city, you need to keep an eye on traffic, mind the rules, and pick the best routes while navigating busy streets. It’s much more work than an actual fun activity, like recreational bike riding is, so be sure to put yourself in a proper mindset when you set out to work on a bike.
Choose the right kind of bike
There are many types of bikes available today and you need to choose yours very carefully as the right choice will determine the levels of your comfort and safety. You might want to buy one of the pieces marketed as ‘commuter bikes’, but that can be a risk. This category doesn’t have a clear definition, so sellers can put any type of bike into it.
The best options for commuting are:
- Road bike.
This vehicle is designed for speed on paved roads and will be a good option for those who want to ride in the city only.
- Hybrid bike.
This type of bike is designed to be more comfortable, so it’s a better choice for long-distance commuters. You can also use it to ride over different terrains, so you’ll be able to enjoy not only smooth road rides but take it to the mountains or on dirt trails.
Dress for the ride
While it might be tempting to ride to work in your ‘office clothes’ to save time, you shouldn’t forget that wearing special type of gear while on a bike is a matter of safety. It’s essential to dress in well-fitting flexible clothing when cycling to allow for easy movement and prevent accidents caused by loose cloth catching somewhere.
You also need to wear protective gear, including helmet and gloves, as well as some vest or a similar piece to increase your visibility on the road. Keep these rules in mind when you suit up for a bike commute. It might be best to keep clothes in the office and to change from your bike-riding outfit when you arrive. Don’t forget to include the post-ride cleanup into your schedule, so plan to arrive early.
Be prepared for emergencies
First of all, research common cycling injuries so you know how to avoid them and what exactly you need to carry in your pack should an accident happen. You also need to learn how to do basic bike repairs and carry a small toolkit with you at all times.
Above all else, don’t forget your phone so you can call for help immediately if a road emergency occurs.