Commuting by bike is a great way to stay in shape and save a ton of money on gas. Getting the right bike and working into a routine is usually the toughest part. But what about when you're on the road? What obstacles are waiting in your path?
Worrying about cars and safety should be at the forefront of every commuter's mind. Here are other common commuter problems and how you should fix them.
Carrying Your Gear
Stuffing a backpack full of clothes, shoes, a laptop and food can cause a lot of problems. During summer months a big clunky backpack strapped across your back will make you sweat, not to mention slow you down because of the weight. If your commute is short, opt for racks. You'll ride more comfortably not having to carry all the weight on your shoulders.
If you are a long-distance commuter, take most of your clothes and food to work on a designated day—either on the weekend or a day you aren't commuting. This will also keep your clothes from getting bunched up and wrinkled. And if you still need a backpack, carry as little as possible and opt for something small and made for cycling.
Stuck at a Red
Nothing is more frustrating than sitting in front of a red light because the sensors at the stoplight don't recognize you. In most states, the law requires you to wait for one cycle before you can proceed through a red. For instance, if you're stuck at a left hand turn signal, once all other directions of traffic have had a green light you may proceed to make a left handed turn, as long as it is safe to proceed and free of oncoming traffic. Check your state laws to make sure beforehand.
Another option is to use the crosswalk for pedestrians by pushing the walk button.
Depending on how far you have to go, distance can be a factor when considering how many days per week you'll be able to ride. Instead of taking a few days off each week, split up your ride by using public transportation, as most buses and trains have designated areas to dock your bike. This will help cut down your miles without breaking a good daily commuting routine.