8 Tips for How to Bicycle to Work Safely
If you live in the Bay Area, bicycling to work can cut down on your commute time and help you feel better physically and mentally throughout the day. Plus, the activity presents a greener alternative to commuting via bus or personal vehicle. Make a bicycle commute your easiest New Year’s resolution to keep with these safety tips:
Bicycle to Work: Starting Your Green Commute
- Use the buddy system. Anyone without significant riding time on the roads can benefit from experience. Someone at a local bicycle shop, your office, or in a bicycling meetup group can offer valuable local pointers.
- Test the waters. Do not wake up one morning and spontaneously decide to commute via bicycle. You may want to practice a few times on the weekend and then again on non-busy work days. Keep the introduction low-key to identify and address traffic/routing issues, dress, and backpack or basket luggage.
- Plan out your days ahead of time. Consider your meeting schedule, any trips out of the office, and how late you plan to stay at the office before deciding to take the bicycle. You may choose another form of transportation on your busiest days.
- Familiarize yourself with basic bicycle maintenance. Can you handle a flat tire in the middle of your morning commute when you have a meeting at 8:30 a.m.? Keep a tire pump and an emergency fix-a-flat kit with you every time you head out. Practice your back up plan a few times to familiarize yourself with the procedures.
- Read up on the laws. Riding in the wrong area may lead to a ticket, or worse – an accident. Ask seasoned riders for their experience with drivers and law enforcement, and refresh your understanding of the laws regularly.
- Basic safety first. Wearing a helmet and reflective clothing could save your life, regardless of the specific laws in your area. Only ride when you feel alert and engaged.
- Always carry a cell. Bring your cell phone with you even if you take your work clothes to the office at an earlier time. You never know when you may need to call emergency services or your office.
- Enjoy the ride. Bicycle commuting can help you focus, reduce stress, and stay fit. Safety comes first, but take some time to experience the freedom a bicycle offers over traditional commuting vehicles.
For more information about bicycle safety and injuries, please reach out to Bay Area Bicycle Law at 415-466-8717 today.