Switching up the daily routine might frighten you, but biking to work for once might be just the change you need. Biking to work has great benefits: the exercise is healthy for you, and the lack of CO2 emissions is healthy for the Earth. If the switch from four wheels to two seems intimidating, here are a few pointers to get you started:
You don’t need any fancy equipment. The bike in your garage will do. A $50-70 tuneup might be necessary, but as long as it will get your from point A to point B, it’s the right bike for you.
Concerned about getting dirty? Simply tuck your pant legs into your socks, or just bring a change of clothes into work the day before your experience. Showers will be available at Veale and 121 Fitness.
Remember to wear a helmet, take the lane on the right side of the road just like any other vehicle, signal to other drivers (here is a guide), and ride visibly, defensively, and predictably.
A bike chain lock will do if you’re parking at a rack, but consider purchasing a U-lock for more security.
Plot your route ahead of time with Google Maps’ cycling option or in person.
Find a riding buddy if you’re still nervous. You’re allowed to ride next to each other in a lane, which will make you both more visible. It’s also more enjoyable to share the experience of biking with someone you know.
If you liked your commute and want to bike more in the future, consider investing in fenders to protect you from splatter, lights to ride legally in the dark, a multi-tool for quick fixes, and a standing pump for your tires.
At the Office for Sustainability’s Green Bag Lunch on biking to work on Apri 6l, Rob Thompson, the Communications and Membership Manager of Bike Cleveland, thoughtfully summed up the underlying value of biking: “It’s about getting people to interact with the world at a human speed.” After Ryan Pierce, coach and staff advisor to CWRU Cycling, shared his expertise, he concluded simply with the advice, “Do it! It’s a blast!”
If anything, biking to work is fun! Just find a bike that works for you, stay safe, and enjoy the ride.
Story by Matthew Haberbusch, Sustainability Ambassador