06 May A beginner’s guide to bike commuting
Here are some bicycle commuting tips:
- Plan Ahead. Map out your route ahead of time. The google map on the right side of this page should help you choose a more bicycle-friendly route. Doing a dry-run the weekend before will allow you to know how much time your trip will take, and whether or not your chosen route is suitable.
- Set a date. Choose a date to start riding, and stick to it. If you haven’t started yet, let June 6th be your starting date.
- Give yourself extra time. You’re going to want a couple of minutes in case you need to freshen up, catch your breath, cool down, or change your clothes.
Some ideas on what to take with you:
- Toiletries. Deodorant seems like a given, but if you have shower facilities at your work, soap and shampoo should be packed along too
- A change of clothes. Some people will ride in their work clothes, but if your commute is longer or you don’t want to ride in your work outfit, you will want to pack it along with you (and don’t forget it!)
- A water bottle. With the extra exercise, you’ll want to stay hydrated
- A flat-tire kit. The peace-of-mind that this will give you is worth the extra weight. A spare tube, tire levers, and a pump/inflator. If you don’t have a quick-release wheel, you’ll want a wrench as well.
Why it is important to commute by bike:
- Health benefits: Frequent exercise can reduce the risk of disease such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. Other benefits include having increased energy levels, and maintaining a healthy weight
- Financial benefits: The typical Ontarian spends approximately $8,000 per year on their car. Commuting by bike can decrease these costs by saving on parking, gas, and vehicle wear & tear.
- Environmental benefits: Every trip by bike is one less trip by car, which means less fossil fuels burnt, and less carbon emissions. This can lead to better air quality and to health benefits for the whole community.