Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Bike to Work Day!

Today was my first bike to work day of the new year! Hooray!

Plus with my fancy new office, I put up my bike rack and have nice super secure warm bike storage, and as it just started to snow, I can either ride home or take the lightrail. We'll see how hard it's snowing tonight because I forgot my ski goggles which are life-savers (eye-savers?) for snow biking.

My biking tips are as follows:
1) Dress warmly and in layers (and maybe take a couple extra layers in case you didn't dress warmly enough!)
2) Have some sort of storage on your bike, whether that be baskets like mine, a backpack, waterproof panniers or a trailer (I just love being able to carry more stuff than just me on my bike)
3) Definitely get fenders so you don't get nasty riding in the snow and/or wet
4) Get lights so you can be seen at night and in low-light situations
5) Ride safely and always expect to get hit (more on this in a second)
6) Time your driving commute versus your biking commute (I think you'll be surprised)

Also bring a shirt. That kind of fits with the "bike storage" rule. I'm a sweater. I sweat. I know this and ride in a different shirt to work, cool down and then change. Biking home I don't have to change because the cats and Joan don't care if my collared shirt is sweaty when I get home.

Okay, riding safely. If I see a car coming, I stop at stop signs. If a car is not coming (check twice or thrice!), I'll roll through the stop sign. I don't have many red lights on my commute, but I generally wait at red lights because I know how I drive through green lights (quickly and with very little looking out for red light running cyclists) and I don't mind waiting. Although I have ridden through red lights when I could see both ways and was sure there was no traffic coming.

I do move to the side of the road so other traffic can pass me. Not all the way because there are parked cars and I need some road space to pass them along with the driving cars.

When riding on the road, I expect to get hit. I haven't yet, thankfully. But expecting to get hit just means using common sense, assuming no car driver ever sees me, and a little practice reading license plates while riding or falling off a bike.

I'm sure I'll think of more, but that's pretty good for now.

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