Intro to Bike Commuting, Part IV

Photo by jessflickr. Licensed under the Creative Commons.

I’m hoping that my earlier posts about bicycle commuting got some of you inspired to get out there and start riding. Here in Minnesota, it’s still a little bit on the cold side, and (as I write this) in almost the middle of April we’re under a winter storm warning. I’ve been working on building a commuter bike, since my commute is about 7.5 times longer than it used to be. A single-speed won’t suffice anymore. (I’ll detail the completed bike in a future post.)

So. You’ve been commuting. You’re probably dropping weight, and starting to see a general improvement in your moods. But things could be better. This section will discuss things to improve your commuting experience.

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Intro to Bike Commuting, Part III

Photo by drocksays. Licensed under the Creative Commons.

Contingency Planning

The most important thing you can do as a bike commuter is to remain mentally flexible. As long as you hope for the best and prepare for the worst, you should be fine. That said, there are things you’ll encounter on the road that require a certain set of behaviors, and can ameliorate negative situations.

Drivers. You need to understand one thing —

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Intro to Bike Commuting, Part II

Photo by red5standingby. Licensed under the Creative Commons.

Getting Started

The first thing you need to do in getting ready for a bicycle commute is a reality check. There are two questions that need answering — are you healthy enough to undertake a bicycle commute? And, is the distance to the office something you can realistically ride?

The first question is something you should discuss during a consultation with a doctor. I am not a physician, and thus not qualified to provide life-or-death medical advice in this series of articles (or anywhere else in my blog). Should you be healthy enough to make a weekly commute, by all means move on to the next question.

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