Did you know that May 29 to June 4 is Bike to Work Week? This week is dedicated to promoting bike safety, knowledge, and healthy living. But it doesn’t end there! Read on to find out why it’s time to hop back on the saddle and the 10 things to do before setting off.
Why bike to work?
Biking to work is good for the environment and good for the individual. It’s a way to get some positive endorphins pumping and blow away the cobwebs in the morning. Plus, it gives gas-guzzling vehicles a break. Biking to work just one day a week will have a positive impact!
If you’re interested in hitting the tarmac on two wheels, here are 10 things to do before setting off:
Safety first: Make sure you’ve got the right equipment to keep both you and your bike safe. Here are some things to consider: helmet, lights, high visibility clothing, lock, and a puncture repair kit
Tune up your bike: If you’re not comfortable doing this alone, take your bike to a shop and get a full tune-up. At the very least make sure your brakes are working well, your saddle is comfortable, and the tires are fully pumped.
Know the rules of the road: If you haven’t been on two wheels in a while, it’s good to refresh your memory of the rules. How do you signal? Are you allowed on the sidewalk? It’s best to have an understanding of the basics to ensure you’re as safe as possible.
Take it for a test drive: Take a test drive to ensure you’re comfortable on your bike and that it’s up to your commute. You may find some issues to resolve before biking to work.
Plan your route: The best route to take by bike may be different from the one you drive or walk. Where possible, try to stick to bike lanes if they’re available. Consider quieter streets over busy main corridors. If you have any local parks nearby, there may be some shortcuts to capitalize on!
Locate a parking spot: Where are you going to park when you get to work? If you have a bike locker then make sure you’ve got access to that and don’t require any special tagging for your bike. If not, scope out a safe and legal place to park nearby.
Inform people: This isn’t about bragging (but spreading the word is good)! If you don’t normally bike to work, let someone at work know your plan and route. That way they’ll be informed should you end up being late and know where to look should you have an accident.
Pack clean clothes: No one likes sitting next to a smelly coworker all day! Consider packing some clean clothes and deodorant.
Charge your phone: If you have a mobile, make sure it’s fully charged. This will come in handy if you get lost, your bike malfunctions, or you get into an accident.
Set your alarm: Now you’ve got all the pieces in place, you’re ready to go! Be generous with the time you allow yourself on your maiden voyage. Best of luck!