Over the years I’ve commuted to work by bike but the real bike commuter in this house is my husband. Post Ironman he has been commuting to work by bike at least 2x per week. This week however he is on-call so won’t be able to bike over the weekend so he will do a 5x bike commute challenge this week. His work commute is 40 miles round trip so this means between Monday and Friday this week he will rack up 200 miles bike commuting. Bonus for bike commuting is he gets in his workout plus reduces his carbon footprint and saves money by not having to fill up his motorcycle tank.
Last week when I bike commuted into work, which is almost a 60 mile round trip, I was talking to some other cyclist about riding into work. One of my coworkers inquired about the logistics so I thought it would be a great topic to share with others that might want to incorporate bike commuting into their week but need help getting started. Once you get the hang of getting everything prepped it gets as easy as when you have to do the same to get in your car for the day.
When I first started bike commuting I didn’t have a touring bike or panniers so I needed to do a little pre-bike commute prep so I didn’t have to haul everything to work in a backpack. If you need to bike commute with a backpack or messenger bag I suggest on days you drive into work to bring the following and store in a cabinet at your desk:
- Extra pair of shoes
- Extra pair of clothes
- Extra toiletries
- Snacks you can use for breakfast, lunches and pre-ride nutrition
- Leave laptop at work the night before a bike commute
Besides the bike and helmet needed for commuting I recommend you carry the following with you. I keep these in a small bike bag that affixes to my seat post:
- Extra tubes
- CO2 cartridges and dispenser or small pump
- Tire levers
I’ve been riding for 10 years but have paid more attention to visibility on the bike more recently with the increased car congestion and more distracted drivers with mobile technology. I suggest you incorporate some or all of these safety measures into your bike commute and overall cycling. This is not to deter you from riding as statistics show we are more at risk while driving.
- Front LED headlight
- Rear flashing light
- Rear reflective triangle caution sign
- Rear view mirror on helmet, glasses or handlebar
- Reflective clothing
- Road ID
The a.m. bike commute seems easier as you are rested but the p.m. bike commute can be a bit more challenging since you’ve had a full day of work and now have to muster up the energy to ride home. It is key that you have a late afternoon snack before you head out so you don’t bonk on the way home. Make sure to bring water bottles too to stay hydrated on your way into work and the way home.
If you bike commute and have more tips to share I’d love to hear them!