Ride to work tips (2) - time and gear
How long will it take?
You may be surprised… these days a cyclists average speed is generally greater than the current average speed of cars and other normal transportation. This means that cycling represents a very fast and efficient means of getting from point A to B. Use the Bike Paths guide to select the best bike trail maps to get you there the easiest, safest and fastest.
You will also "recover time" by building incidental exercise, meaning that you no longer have to slog to the gym after you get home to get your required daily exercise. This gives you time to spend with your family, cook some dinner, work on a hobby, or just relax.
Do I need any special equipment?
To start – not really. You just need a reliable well maintained bike that's fit for purpose, a helmet and lock.
In time you can add to your equipment, such as a lights for safety so pedestrians and cars can see you and if you are riding in the dark.
Mudguards are helpful for those times that it rains
Puncture repair kit, spare tube and pump are also useful for those times when you get a "flat"
How do I carry my gear?
- The key is to travel light, and rationalise only the stuff you need. Good options are backpacks, crumpler bags (a great choice as they are robust and waterproof.
- If you need to carry a laptop computer with you, it's a better option to carry this on your back. This will reduce some of the shock and jarring that would occur if the computer was carried in a pannier bag – extending the live of your technology!
- For larger loads, baskets and pannier bags are also a good option. In the US, there is a new range of "workhorse" bikes being developed that have extended carrying capacities, so watch this space!
What clothes should I wear?
Contrary to popular belief, lycra body suits aren't the only choice of clothing for urban cyclists. Clothing should be non-restrictive, light and either warm or cool (depending on the outside temperature) and bright for maximum visibility. Remember the faster you ride, the warmer you will get! There are many more casual cycling clothing options coming out, so check out what's available!
Many cyclists wear jeans on their way into work, which are quite ok for the bike, however if you need to wear a suit or other office attire, then you can either carry these in your backpack or keep a stash of office clothes at work. Having shower facilities at work is also a good idea if you intend on a "fast ride in", otherwise a gentle slow ride to work may be the go.
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- Ride to work tips (2) - time and gear
- Ride to work tips - Part 1