Don't Forget Public Transit
The bus or the train can be your friend. Consider taking the bus for part of the ride if your route is too long or if you don't want to be all sweaty and stinky at the office. Bike racks are common on the front of the buses so you don't have to leave your bike somewhere.
"If you're concerned about getting to work and not having a shower there, maybe you can take your bike on a bus and get to work," Szczepanski said, "Then, at the end of the day you can ride home because you don't have that worry on the other end of the trip."
It's possible your route could include some off-road trails or fire roads—but only if your bike can handle it.
What kind of ride you have could influence what kind of route you take. Road bikes will keep you on blacktop, but a hybrid or a mountain bike could open up your options.
Szczepanski, when she was living in Iowa, spent a few Saturdays trying out different routes to get to her office. Not only was she figuring out which route was the most efficient, but she also got a better idea of how long it took to get there. And, she developed comfort on those roads.
"It's getting used to the flow of traffic, getting used to how the intersections work, getting used to being on the road with motorists," she says. "Those are all really critical factors."Search for a cycling event.