Bike Commuting Tips

Bike Commuting Tips

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:

Commuting Essentials

Aside from the contents of my saddle bag, my phone, keys, cash, cards, bus fare (for emergencies) and the Garmin are the ONLY things I bring to work. I don’t even bring a wallet— I cram everything into a ziplock bag which is SUPER classy! On days where I’m doing a long ride before commuting to work, I may also bring snacks and a hand-pump (can’t always trust those CO2 cannisters!). Fortunately, I’m able to keep a “closet” and toiletries at work but the more you ride, the more minimal you will become as you learn what you really need.

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.

Stop over-thinking!

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!

Have you started bike commuting yet?

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    The Priviledge of Riding a Bicycle

    The Priviledge of Riding a Bicycle

    I love solo rides: my 12km commutes, 60km of hilly fun or 100km of tranquil solitude. To explore new territory. To stay effortlessly fit. To recharge. To escape. To practice mindfulness and increase self-awareness. To sort things out. To solve problems. To be inspired. To come up with new ideas. To think and come up with new insights. To not think about anything at all. I can ride wherever I want, as far as I want and for however long I want. I can be antisocial and don’t have to talk to anyone if I don’t want to. My solo rides are MY time. My time to be utterly free.

    And then there are the rides with a friend or a few (preferring small groups). We see the best and worst of each other… and we fortunately get to see the ugliest side of each other— think snot flying out of our noses while covered in dead bugs, dirt and sweat and not to mention, that grotesque expression in our suffering faces. No one judges. Everyone is supportive. Conversations lasting over 200km+ maybe random, ludicrous and ridiculously entertaining. Some spoken on a high note while others will be words sparingly spat out laboriously over the course of a 20% grade hill in a desperate attempt to keep an interesting conversation going. It is appropriate to say, you develop a special relationship and respect for people you ride with, as we to go through so much joy and torment in our like-mindedness, during a ride.

    Being able to ride a bicycle is a privilege I’ll always be grateful for.

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      Fitness Talk

      Fitness Talk

      Are you sick of seeing #fitspo posts on your social media feeds? Do you get annoyed at friends who are constantly talking about their active and healthy lifestyle? One, you can unfollow them or two, leave them alone! Most people hate to admit it but if things bother you that much, it is something you are missing and crave for in your own life.

      Why you should NOT shut up about your active lifestyle:

      • Motivation (internal + external). Gym selfies, progress pictures, motivational quotes— if it is motivating you, chances are, you are motivating someone else as well.
      • Accountability. Honestly, no one cares if you are going to go for a run at 6am tomorrow morning but if you post it on social media, you are most likely to do it because it’s out there. It doesn’t matter whether you are doing it for yourself or “saving face” (which I promise you, no one will remember), but the simple fact that you are doing it is all that matters.
      • Sharing is caring. The only reason I was able to stick with my healthy habits was because of the countless blogs I read about fitness and motivation. Writing about fitness also keeps me motivated because there is a lot of research to do behind a single blog post which means I am constantly learning and being inspired.

      Life is too short to be unhappy, bitter, negative and judgmental and that’s the camp we don’t belong in! Stop caring about what other people think and be proud of your lifestyle and what you are achieving for yourself. Do what works for you. Do what makes you happy.

      It’s YOUR life so be proud of it.

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