7 Tips To Kick Start Your Commute On A Bicycle
Nowadays, though, with gas prices continually on the rise, these people are finding themselves dusting off their bicycles not just for a ride in the park, but for a ride to work.
Most of us would rather skip our daily commute and pedal our way to our offices instead.
Even if you have not ridden your bicycle in years or have not learned how to ride one at all, here are some handy ideas to get you started on your first pedal kick.
Bicycle Kick #1: Warm Up Those Leg Muscles
Unless you have been regularly riding your bike for exercise, the first few times that you will be pedaling to work will not be a breeze. Depending on your age, overall health, commuting route, and bicycle, getting back on the two-wheeler could mean a lot of huffing and puffing. But even when you feel your legs burning, your knees aching, and your whole body getting sore, you should not get discouraged. The first few kicks are always the hardest and they may seem like a lot of work before you can even start your real day at work. And don’t forget, you still have to pedal back home after a long day. Just remind yourself, too, of the multiple rewards you will reap from this old-fashioned commute.
Bicycle Kick #2: Master Those Gear Shifts
You’ll need all the energy you can get for your long workday. You shouldn’t burn them all while going to work on your bike. You can save a lot of energy while riding by shifting gears. To get a better pedal-to-wheel ratio, you should shift gears up as your speed increases and shift down as you slow to save energy. With timely shifting, you can easily and quickly gain and maintain speeds. Over time, this will become second nature to you and you won’t even think about it.
Bicycle Kick #3: Inflate Those Tires
Regularly check if your tires are adequately inflated. This is especially important if your bicycle has been in storage for a while. The tires would be less inflated but may still feel right to you. The pressure at which your tires should be inflated is measured in PSI or pounds per square inch. Most bicycle tires have labels showing the correct PSI, which is normally 40-50 PSI. When you inflate to this pressure, the tires may feel ready to blow, but don’t worry, they are actually ready to glide. Properly inflated tires always mean an easy ride and energy saved.
Bicycle Kick #4: Be Mindful of the Curves
Most roads were designed by engineers not just for travel, but for proper drainage too, among other things. This is why some roads are subtly, and sometimes not-so-subtly, convex. The convex curve does not really become a problem when you are riding along the slope parallel to it. However, the bulge becomes a nuisance when you reach an intersection when you are required to climb the hump of the cross-street. Don’t use the sidewalk, the flattest part of the road is the middle. Taking the middle road can save you energy but be careful of the four-wheelers on gas.
Bicycle Kick #5: No Sweat
You may enjoy riding your bike so much that you start thinking of joining the Tour de France. Don’t forget that the whole “exercise” is for you to save energy. Always allow enough time for your bicycle commute so you won’t have pit stains by the time you get to work. Your commute should be comfortable, not a race. If possible, wear appropriate biking clothes and just change into work clothes at the office. You should always feel and look refreshed when you step into the conference room for an early meeting.
Bicycle Kick #6: Find Easy Routes
The perfect bicycle route for an easy ride is one with the fewest obstacles. Something as simple as a small hill may make your ride grueling. But a small detour of one block may make all the difference. Find a route with the least number of obstacles, but don’t resort to cutting through alleys or lawns.
Bicycle Kick #7: Take the Road Less Travelled
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, or in the case of work commutes, the main thoroughfares. When you are riding your bike, though, this is not the safest way to go, unless you want to arrive at your office panting and shaking. Instead, you can skirt the major roads and ride through the park or a bicycle path or even a tributary. Not only will you be avoiding getting hit by a car or ducking in and out of fast-moving vehicles, the lack of traffic will make your ride more enjoyable and relaxing. A leisurely ride on your way to work is the perfect way to start your day.