Ride a bike to work? These experts offer sage advice for your commute

Shutterstock

Riding a bike to work is a great way to save the planet, get some exercise, view the scenery, and deal with stress. There’s nothing quite like it in the world — pedaling away as the sun rises and enjoying the fresh air. You also get to avoid traffic congestion, for the most part.

Because the idea is new to most folks (most of us use a car), these experts offer some advice for making the ride safe and enjoyable, even for first-time bike commuters.

1. Shine a light

“It’s good to be seen. I always have a blinky taillight on my bike in case I get caught riding in traffic after dark. No one in a car wants to hit a cyclist, but we can be hard to see. Visible and reflective clothing can help a lot too, as well as a good headlight.” — Lael Wilcox, Professional Cyclist, PEARL iZUMi

2. Bring a repair kit

“It helps to pack a patch kit, a small pump or compressed air, a multi-tool, and a spare tube in case mechanical difficulties occur. There are small saddlebags made by a variety of companies that make this easy.” — Phillip Yip, General Manager, MonkeyLectric

3. Get a fold-up bike

“My tip is to get a Brompton Folding Bike. You can take it easily on trains and buses and into offices and restaurants. It folds/unfolds in seconds and fits even tall riders. You avoid having to lock it up and it’s a nice riding bike.” — William Volk, Writer, The Climate Trail

4. Create a bike commuter network

“I would say my top advice is to create a commuter network. Riding to and from with friends not only makes commuting feel safer but also serves as a social outlet and a motivator, especially on days when the weather is not so friendly.” — Meredith Christie, VP of Marketing, HVR Software

5. Bike in stages

“Don’t feel like you have to bike all the way. Most cities have great public transport like buses and trains, and most of these forms of transport either have bike racks or allow bikes on board. Bike commuting is not just for those close to work, or close to the city center. You can easily bike to a commuter stop, lock your bike there and ride in on public transport, or even use transport for a leg of your journey to make the biking less difficult.” — Paul Ronto, Chief Marketing Officer & Director of Digital Content, RunRepeat.com

6. Bring hair products with you

“For shorter commutes, it might be good to bring a comb and hair product to style your hair at work or get it back to normal after a ride. You don’t want to go to work with helmet hair. I wore a cycling cap and spruced it up with pomade once at the office.” — FrugalStu

7. Watch for cars constantly

“Never, ever assume that drivers know what they’re doing or that they’re looking out for you. Look carefully before crossing, even though traffic should be stopping. Definitely the case for driverless cars!” — Anthony Bianco, Travel Writer and Blogger, Travel Tart