Biking To Work Safely
If you live within a reasonable distance, biking to work may be an option for you. However, to protect yourself you should take a few precautions to stay safe on your commute.
Is a Bicycle Commute For You?
Let's face it, gas is getting more and more expensive and finding ample time to exercise is hard. You can save money on gas and get some exercise by commuting to work on your bicyle. But is a bicycle commute for you?
It depends on how reasonable it is for you to actually ride your bike from your house to your place of business. If the only way to work is on a freeway in the city it may not be an option, but in a smaller city or town, or if you can avoid the highway, you may have this option. Even if the roads are less than ideal, consider if you could drive halfway and bike in from there.
Why Bike To Work?
There are some great reasons to ride your bike to work.
Save Money - You can save money by skipping the car and riding your bike. You can also save money on parking if you work in the city. In some cities this is a considerable expense for a car, and even after paying you still have a walk into the office.On your bike you may be able to bike right up to the door.
Get In Shape - Biking takes effort on your part, and you will get in shape by including these twice per day bicycle rides into your day. You may even be able to skip the gym now, so the extra time you spend biking will be well spent.
Bicycle Hand Signals
How To Bike With Traffic
If you have decided to give it a shot you should know how to bike with traffic.
First of all, a bicycle is a vehicle on the road. That means you must follow all standard traffic laws as you would in your car. That includes stop signs, speed limits, riding on the right side of the road, and everything else.
Learn your bicyle turn commands. Drivers should understand these as they are part of any guide book for a driver's license. You certainly want to indicate to drivers which way you plan to turn.
Great Bicyle Helmuts
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Don't forget to stay safe. There are some very important safety features that you should consider. In your city or state one of these may even be required, so do your research to make sure you are obeying the law.
Make sure you wear a helmet. When commuting on a bicyle a helmet is your best defense in the event of an accident and the number one way to make sure you are biking to work safely. In addition to a helmet, a comfortable bicycle seat or padded bicyle pants will keep you from sitting funny the rest of the day. Don't worry. After biking for a short while you will get used to it.
One of the largest safety concerns is what you can't see, so strongly consider adding a rear view mirror to either your helmut or to your bicyle. You can find these for a relatively low cost and they make you significantly safer by expanding your vision.
The helmut mirrors are small and light, offering the benefit of moving with your head at all times. Other styles that attach to your handlebars offer a large view. Which is better for you depends on you, so check them out.
Rear View Mirrors For Your Bike
|Mirrycle MTB Bar End Mountain Bicycle Mirror|
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|Bicycle Bike Handlebar Safe Stainless Steel Mirror|
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Overcoming Your Fear
If you have ever considered commuting by bicyle but haven't, chances are you are concerned about something that is preventing you from taking the plunge. Here are some common fears and suggestions for overcoming them.
Traffic is Too High - If traffic is too high on the way to work consider an alternative. See if there is another route down a more residential neighborhood that would be suitable. Another option is to drive to an alternate location and bike from there. Perhaps there is a park and ride lot or big box store on a good biking path to work. It could be that changing your working hours just slightly will greatly reduce the traffic.
The Weather is Unpredictable - Yes, it is. You will want to understand the weather forecast, but having a lightweight rainsuit is also a great idea. You can certainly drive to work when a nasty day is in store. Who wouldn't? Just pick your days and get on your bike.
Where to Leave Your Bike - If you are not biking because you have no idea where to leave your bike you just need to do a little digging. Call the city and ask what locations are available if you're not sure. Work with your employer to see if an onsite location can be created. You may inspire co-workers to bike as well.
I Would Be Lonely - If you feel like being a single biker would be loney or less safe, get a commuting buddy. There is safety in numbers, particularly when you are on a busy road. Form a team and bike together.
The best way to get comfortable with bicycle commuting and to start to realize the cost saving and health benefits of this program is to start.
Pick just one day, check the weather, get your helmet, and commute to work on your bike. You might be surprised and how good you feel when you get back home.
Biking to work safely will insure that you keep at it for a long time to come.