Commuting on a bike
Discover tips to help plan how to use a bicycle for your commute.
Bicycle commuting to work can help you avoid the hassles of traffic congestion and get a little exercise during your transportation time.
Quick bicycle commuting tips
- Mentors - For those new to bike commuting, consider riding with someone who already commutes by bike. Find a bike commuting mentor or partner through Ridematch.
- Bicycle size - Make sure your bicycle is the right size for you and is properly adjusted. If you are in the market for a new bicycle, check out the hybrids and mountain bikes. Some commuters prefer the fatter tires and upright position for riding in traffic.
- Bicycle helmets - Wear a bicycle helmet every time you ride. Recent studies indicate that wearing a bicycle helmet can reduce your risk of head injuries. See bike helmet requirements.
- Bike lights - Lights and reflectors are a must, even if you do not plan to ride at night. There is always a chance of a late meeting or spur of the moment social activity after work or school that may see you riding home after dark. A white headlight and a red rear reflector are required by Washington law for night riding.
- Bicycle racks - A rack over the rear wheel helps carry items such as clothes, briefcases, books, etc. Panniers that attach to the racks are available in a variety of sizes and shapes.
- Tools - A basic tool kit and a tire pump will allow you to make roadside repairs should they be necessary. The farther away you are from your destination, the more important this becomes.
- Riding in wet weather - Fenders are handy if you plan to ride when its wet.
- Dress for the weather - It is sometimes tricky to know exactly how to dress for a particular temperature. But as a general rule, you should be comfortable to slightly cool before you start your ride. You will warm-up quickly once you get going. If you dress so that you are warm before you even start riding, you will get too hot. Layer your clothing so that you can always add or subtract a layer depending how you feel a mile or so into your commute.
- More bicycle safety tips
Bike commuting to Washington universities
National bike month
May is Bike to Work Month, and there are many reasons to join in:
- Biking is great exercise, and physical fitness means good health, fewer sick days and higher productivity for your company.
- Bicycle-friendly companies earn an environment-friendly image. Bicycling is a virtually zero-emission form of transportation.
- Bicycling reduces parking and transportation hassles and costs, leaving bicyclists with more disposable income. Bicyclists also have time to notice and visit the shops they ride past.