6 Top Tips for New Commuter Cyclists

07
Jul
2020

Traveling to work on your bicycle is an environmentally friendly and healthy way to commute. What’s more, it can save you gas money and might even be quicker than driving.

Whether you’ve decided to bike to work for health, environmental, or monetary reasons, there are some things that you need to know. Jumping on your bike and pedaling through a city or town at peak hours every day requires preparation and know-how. Accidents and injuries can occur, even if you take all the necessary precautions. 

From the gear that you wear to the route that you take, here are six essential tips for any new commuter cyclist. 

  1. Safety precautions 

If you haven’t been using your bike regularly or if you’ve just bought a new one, you must give it a safety check. Although a new bike should be in perfect condition, double-check that everything is in good order. 

Ensure that tire tread depth is where it should be, check the breaks, inspect the chain, and carefully monitor fixtures and fittings.

You should have a quality helmet for protection and a repair kit in case you get a puncture. 

  1. Clothing

If your commute is a short distance and cycling conditions are optimal, you may ride in your work clothes. However, in reality, you will most likely need clothes dedicated to cycling. 

Base layer, breathable, and relatively tight-fitting clothing is best suited for bike riding. Gloves, spare shoes, and eye protection are recommended in adverse weather conditions. 

Dress according to the weather, always wear a helmet and bring a change of clothes for work. 

  1. Visibility

As a cyclist, visibility is essential. Ensure that your bike is equipped with front and back lights and reflectors. Always carry spare lights and batteries. 

You should always wear high visibility clothing. A luminous or reflective vest is a practical way of maintaining high visibility. 

  1. Injury prevention

Taking safety precautions is the number one way to prevent injury through accidents. Your physical fitness will improve once your body gets used to the commute. However, you should incorporate stretching, limbering up, and warming down as part of the routine. 

Look out for parked cars, swinging doors, turning vehicles, and pedestrians.

Another way of preventing long term injury is to have the right fitting bike. You can visit a specialist for bike fitting to ensure that your bike isn’t causing unnecessary damage to your body. 

  1. Cyclist road etiquette

Just like driving, cycling on the road requires knowledge of road rules and etiquette. Use cycle lanes where possible, signal when you’re turning, and do your best to communicate effectively with other road users. Be friendly, have manners, and respect drivers

  1. Learn your route and practice

You should avoid testing your route to work on your first commute. In times of high traffic, cycling can become stressful and overwhelming. 

Take a few dry runs in your spare time. This will get you used to the route and allow you to gauge the length of the journey. Take note of any potentially dangerous areas. 

Practice the route until you are comfortable enough to ride to work in peak traffic.

Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) from Pexels.

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