Bike to work on May 20th between 6:30 and 8:30am and grab a free donut and coffee, care of CoffeeHound and Cravin’ Donuts (first come, first serve). We’ll have two locations along the Constitution Trail:
Enter to win!
- You’ll also get a chance to enter a drawing for bike gear below.
- Bontrager bike helmet (adult large)
- Bontrager fingerless bike gloves
- Cable lock (2)
- Women’s kit (bottom and top, women’s large)
If you don’t commute to work very often (or ever) it can be a little intimidating. Don’t worry! We’ve got your basic questions covered.
Doubting whether biking to work is right for you? Have some questions before you head out for your first bike-to-work ride?
Do it! Seriously, just give it a try.
Check out these simple tips on clothing, planning, and other FAQ pointers from one of our own bike commuting pros and Bike BloNo board members, Kelly Rumley!
- Don’t buy anything new! That’s ridiculous. Bikers come in all sorts of clothing packages, and when getting started as a bike commuter you can just aim to wear something comfortable and biking-friendly. The cycling gear will come later once you get hooked, become a regular bike commuter, and save up all that money you were spending on gas. Or not. Some of us never spend a dime on bike-specific clothing.
- Consider how hard your ride will be. For a short commute, you might just wear your work clothes. For a longer commute, you might need to pack your work clothes or bring them to work the day before.
- Care about visibility. Lighter, brighter colors are best, especially if you’re riding before sunrise or as the sun is going down. If you plan to ride when it’s dark, you should definitely purchase (or borrow) a rear tail light and front headlight and think about wearing reflective clothing.
Clothing Checklist (Keep it Simple)
- Helmet: A must-have for safety.
- Worried about your hair? In our experience, the whole helmet-hair thing is overblown. If you wear your hair long, you can loosely pull it back with an elastic band or secure your bangs with a headband. Your helmet really won’t matte down your hair much unless you’re riding for hours. Sweat will dry; your hair will recover. Plus, you just biked to work. How much cooler is that than having the best work hair?
- Weather-appropriate shirt and pants/shorts: Think about the length of your ride and how fast you plan to pedal. If you expect to get sweaty, keep the clothing to a mimimum and then do a quick change when you get to work. Pro tip: roll up your right pant leg (or run a piece of masking tape or a Velcro strap around it to keep it tight to your leg); this will keep your pants from getting greased up by your gears. If your pants are baggy, consider rolling/taping both sides.
- Biking-friendly shoes: Tennis shoes or cycling shoes are the best, but you could also get by with sandals that have a heel strap (no flip-flops!). You can even wear your work shoes if you’re not worried about them getting dirty or flying off your feet. Harder soles make pedaling more efficient and are kinder to your feet.
Other Useful Commuting Tips
- Do a pre-ride bike maintenance check:
- Fill the tires and make sure they stay full.
- Grease your chain (remember, a little goes a long way).
- Hold the bike firmly while you check if the handlebars or pedals/crank are loose.
- Look the whole thing over for hints about potential problems (in particular heavy rust or cracks).
- Take it for a test ride. Listen for anything that seems loose or rattling. Shift through all the gears.
- Test your brakes at different speeds.
- If you have any concerns or need expert advice and repairs, take your bike to one of your local bike shops for a maintenance appointment.
- Find your best route. Map your ride online and/or ride to your workplace the weekend before your first commute. Bring a friend or family member for double the fun! Check out our Suggested Routes tab for more information.
The best way to bike commute to work is with your colleagues! Hang up this rad poster and encourage your office, department, or company to join you. Workers who commute by bike are commonly more alert and productive. Skip rush hour and parking madness and hop on the bike!
If you’re already biking to work, great! Consider registering for the Good To Go Commuter Challenge and log your commutes to compete for bragging rights 😉
We couldn’t have done without our friends below. They rock.