If you want to add a little fresh air and physical activity to your weekday routine, a cycling commute might be the perfect opportunity. You can save money, help the environment, and sneak in a little cardio exercise by taking your bike to work instead of your car or public transportation. It can be daunting to hop on a bike and cruise through town for the first time, but that doesn’t have to stop you. Make sure your ride is in good shape, grab a helmet, and check out this guide on how to successfully transition to a cycling commute.
Get Some Practice In
It may be true that you never forget how to ride a bike, but that doesn’t mean you can hop on and instantly be a professional. Before you dress up in your office best and attempt your morning commute, take a couple of practice rides around town. Let yourself get more comfortable riding around pedestrians and traffic. This is also a great time to try your regular commute and nail down the best route as well as how long it takes you. The more you practice, the more prepared and comfortable you’ll be when you actually start commuting.
Use Alerts and Hand Signals
If you want to learn how to successfully transition to a cycling commute, you must first learn all the signals bikers use to safely navigate the road. Be sure to use hand signals when turning or stopping so that pedestrians, cars, or other bikers behind you know where you’re going. You should also attach a bell on your bike to alert people of your presence—especially if you’re about to pass them. Make a habit of ringing the bell or calling out to pedestrians or cyclers when you approach them.
Follow the Rules of the Road
In addition to biking safety rules, you must also follow the rules of the road. Always bike in the same direction as traffic and obey laws as if you were in a car. Even though you’re smaller and lighter than most other people on the road, you still have to be respectful and share the road with your fellow commuters. Don’t run through stops, weave between cars, bike while intoxicated, or commit other traffic violations. These actions can put you and others in danger, and you will still face legal and financial consequences for committing them.