Commuting to work by bike has plenty of benefits. It'll save you money, help you to get in shape, and keep you out of freeway traffic jams.
But that doesn't mean the switch to cycling as a form of transportation is an easy one to make. Like any change in your lifestyle, it will take a lot of effort and plenty of alterations to your daily routine to make it happen.
Here's what you need to know to remove the excuses and make the transition to cyclo-commuting an easy one.
Most likely, your drive to work will include multiple stoplights, busy intersections and long waits in traffic. A trip that takes 20 minutes in a car might only take 25 or 30 minutes on a bike.
For cyclists training for a race, the commute provides the opportunity to fit an aerobic workout into a busy schedule. For many riders, weekdays slip away quickly, and it's easy to find yourself in the position of a weekend warrior. Commuting solves that problem.
The morning commute is also a great way to warm-up into the day. Depending on your plans, the morning ride can be used to brainstorm solutions to challenges you might face at work. On the other hand, the evening commute can be a way to unwind from the day and manage stress.
No matter what your reason is for commuting, remembering all of the benefits will help you on those tough days when its hard to get out of bed.
Find a Good Route
One of the first things you need to do to begin commuting is to find a good route. You may or may not have access to a bike path. If you don't, there are still plenty of ways to find a safe way to get to work.
If you have to commute on the road with traffic, you may find that a higher-speed road with wide shoulders is safer than a slower-speed road with no shoulders at all. If you're a year-round commuter, one route might be better than others when it gets dark early or when the weather changes. Take these things into consideration when planning your route.
Plan Around Your Work Schedule
If possible, structure your work schedule so that early morning meetings or the use of a personal vehicle aren't required on your commute days. Plan ahead so you can minimize the obstacles.