With gas prices nearing $3.00 per gallon or $40 per tank, bike commuting is just the smartest thing a person can do. Taking responsibility of our own lives to save money, live better, and be healthier can all be done on two wheels.
Most people think that bicycle commuting is so far fetched and that it can’t be done due to their responsibilities at work, home and distance of their office.
Then there are some that are sitting in traffic everyday looking at the bike rider he or she passes by on the bike lane, wishing they could be that person. At the same time maybe they don’t know how beneficial it is to commute or don’t realize how much money they can save by commuting.
We’re going to look at ways on how to make your bicycle commute affordable and figure out ways on how to get you on a bike by next week. We’ll cover the bikes, gear and actual commute. Then we’ll talk about how to combine all those things to make the magic happen.
The first thing to do is get a bike. Most of us have a bike or two in the garage that can handle a commute. However, in my experience I would highly recommend a quality bike since it needs to be able to withstand hours and hours of pedaling and abuse from the road and the elements.
Typically bikes that are used for commuting are Road Bikes and Mountain. If you decide to use a road bike, I would highly recommend the Ibex Corrida. This is called a flat bar road bike due to its flat bar. We’re currently reviewing the Corrida LT and find that this bike not only is it comfortable, but it’s pretty fast. Our product reviewer, Moe Ramirez stated that when using the Corrida he’s able to cut out at least 8 minutes from his commute. All that is possible due to the Corrida’s riding position and the fact that it’s laced with some choice components.
I’ve use mountain bikes on most of my commutes. I like them because they stronger and a bit more comfortable. I highly recommend them because of their sturdiness. Mountain bikes can handle just about anything that the commute can bring. But don’t make the mistake of buying a mountain bike from the department store such as Walmart or Target. But check out some inexpensive bikes out there that are high in quality yet easy on the wallet. Take for example, the Woodstock 505. The 505 retails hundreds of dollars less than the other juggernauts of the industry like Raleigh, Gary Fisher, Kona, Specialized, Cannondale, Trek and Giant. You can see the price comparison on their Comparison Challenge.
All you really need are gloves, helmets lights and some good sweat wicking clothing. These items can be easily bought at any retail giant as well as online stores such as Nashbar, JensonUSA, PricePoint and many others. If you do buy on line, consider checking out the clearance items or returned goods. For the most part, there items are basically brand new and the company either couldn’t sell or the customer returned the items for some reason.
Before jumping on your bike for the first time to commute, I’d recommend that you plan out your route days in advance and possibly try riding your bike to work on a weekend. Check out how long it would take you to get to and from work. What might help is a cyclo computer that will allow you to track your time, distance and speed.
Having a computer has helped me push myself from cruising too slow or to let me know that I need to speed it up. You can get a very inexpensive computer from almost any bike shop or online retailer. I purchased my Cat Eye Mity3 for about $11 at Performance Bikes.
Don’t forget to bring a water bottle! If you don’t have panniers and need to use a back pack for your clothes, then having a water bottle in the cage can keep you hydrated on those long commutes.
Poof! Once you combine all the things such as the bike, gear and your commute then the whole experience becomes a magical”.ok maybe not magical, but you get my point. I won’t lie to you, the first commute is always the hardest, but once you get into your groove, you’ll be asking yourself why you haven’t done this any sooner.
A friend told me about the 4 D’s of life and how executing them are essential to success. Desire, Determination, Dedication, and Discipline. I know that you too can be successful with commuting by bike, but you will be a dedicated commuter if you apply the 4D’s.