Think about it: Would you rather be sitting in your car in traffic or packed in a crowded bus— especially up in someone’s armpit on a hot summer day?! If you have a bike and want to stay fit, wouldn’t you consider riding your bike to work instead? I find a lot of drivers are always angry while stuck in their metal boxes but I truly believe that cyclists are some of the happiest people in the world. We are breathing in fresh air, the wind is in our hair and we are just reaping the health benefits of being on our bicycles.
When you are commuting by bike, you are using your time and not wasting your time.
I admit I like taking public transit to work because I get to relax, not have to focus on anything, listen to my music or read a book but when I ride my bike to work, I feel MUCH happier and it sets the precedence for the rest of the day. I seriously wake up every single morning looking forward to my commute to work, rain or shine.
Here are my updated bike commuting tips:
Figure out your logistics.
Getting yourself to work, safely storing your bike, cleaning yourself off, carrying all your belongings such as clean clothes to work. You may screw up, forget things or not be as efficient as you want but the key is to not over-think because this is a learning process which only gets easier with experience.
Carry tools in a saddle bag and learn basic bike maintenance.
Some don’t ride because of the terror of broken-bike troubles! Understanding your bike, knowing how to change a flat tire, and checking your tire pressure at least once a week will relieve anxiety and make you ride more.
Prepare as much the night before but not too much.
I lay out the basic objects in the photo on my counter but I choose my clothing in the morning depending on the weather. I use to lay everything out obsessively but now I really enjoy my relaxed mornings which consists of waking up early, turning on some music, having a coffee while foam-rolling, throwing on my gear and then I’m out the door. When I get to work, I will go to the gym, lift weights, stretch and roll if I didn’t do a long, hard ride before arriving at the office.
Don’t check the weather the night before!!
Wake up in the morning, look out the window and dress accordingly. Trust me, this will save you from a ton of anxiety! I use to be obsessed with the weather and now I don’t even care anymore; I ride my bike rain or shine, hot or cold… it doesn’t matter because I know I never regret a bike ride. Some days I’ll forget to even look out the window, dress for sun and remember to check the weather right as I was about to leave… only to see gray skies and pouring rain but I just shrug it off, change and off I still go.
Ride as fast or as slow as you like.
We sometimes joke about “racing” commuters on the bike paths but honestly, no one gives a shit about what you are doing. Sometimes I’ll be on a bike path all geared up on Wilier after a long and hilly morning ride… but every single person is passing me because I’m dead tired and doing my “recovery ride” to work. Do I care? Nope. As an experienced cyclist, you will learn that just because you pass someone does NOT mean you are more fit. People ride for many different reasons such as leisure, happiness, fitness, commuting, etc.
Don’t be consumed about the little things like forgetting your rain jacket for the commute home (“just in case”)? If it rains, it rains. When I’m in my cycling gear, I figure I was going to break a sweat anyway which is the same as being soaked by the rain. Plus have you ever really ridden in the rain? It’s so refreshing and so bad-ass. Live in the moment!