Bike to Work Week is next week and if you are preparing for your first bicycle commute you may be wondering how best to prepare to make it go as smoothly as possible.
Preparation is key and a bit of forethought will make your first few days of bike commuting much easier and safer.
First, don’t wait until Monday morning to dig your bike out of the corner of the garage – check it out well before, and take it in to your local shop if it needs any repairs or a tune up. Likewise, ensure your helmet and any other gear such as lights and rain gear are in good condition. You don’t need expensive high-end equipment, but it does need to be in good operating condition to be safe.
Pre-trip route planning is important. If you can – pre-ride your route to work and note how long it takes so you can allow plenty of time to get to work.
With a bit of research you should be able to find a pleasant route and minimize the need to ride in traffic – a map of bike routes is available on the Campbell River City website.
It may be tempting at times but riding on sidewalks is illegal and dangerous for both cyclists and pedestrians. When you are on your bike the rules of the road apply to a bicycle same as a motor vehicle – you must obey traffic signals, and ride on the road in the same direction as traffic. If you need to use a sidewalk or crosswalk as part of your commute dismount and walk next to your bike.
Check out www.bikesense.bc.ca to learn more about biking safely in traffic – wearing bright clothing, following the rules of the road, and riding in a predictable manner minimizes the risk of having an accident.
With a bit of planning, your bike commute can be an enjoyable part of your day.
Often the toughest part is just getting out the door and on your bike, after that, it’s just a matter of pedalling.