A beginner’s guide to bike commuting

Windsor’s Bike to Work Week starts one month from today (June 6th-12th).Bike To Work Week

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.

5 thoughts on “A beginner’s guide to bike commuting”

  1. This is awesome Steve! Thanks for writing this up… lots of great tips for those getting ready to ride.

  2. Merry Ellen Scully

    thanks for all the helpful tips
    just the kind of encouragement i need
    i have to use my car for work responsibilities somedays, but i will be getting ready to use my bike too

  3. Not to mention avoiding a lot of the construction nightmares too, since there’s more very nice scenic trails that can let a bike detour around some spots where traffic is often standing still.

  4. Pingback: A beginner's guide to bike commuting « Bike Windsor | Bicycling Leisure Knowledge

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