One of the first things to do is make sure you plan your course. Look at your course to and from work. Watch out for heavy traffic areas as well as road hazards. Also make sure you have a bail out route just incase you experience street closures, and accidents.
Being the trooper that you are, you will need to be fully prepared for your commuting experience.
You can easily pick up a nice large backpack from your local Wal-mart for less than $15.00. When you shop for your bag, check the quality of the stitching and gauge to see if it can handle up to 10lbs of load from all your stuff that you stick in there.
If you don’t like having your back sweaty, try checking around for a messenger bag or pannier.
What I do is make sure I iron all my clothes the night before and fold them neatly and put them in my bag. You can roll up your clothes and place them in your bag to save room, but I found that flat folding is the best way to keep wrinkles away.
Another option is to bring your clothes to your work on the days you don’t ride your bike. If that’s not an option, get a rack and panniers for commuting.
You will need some lights to see and to be seen. I wrote a great review for the Cygolite Night Rovers on Blue Collar MTB.com, that I purchased from Ebay. You will also need a rear tail light. Pricepoint.com has inexpensive LED tail lights for as low as $5.
Pump/Patch Kit and Tools
Even though you may not get a flat from thorns on the pavement, you will still need to carry some essentials for your bike. Bring your pump, a patch kit and of course tools. You will never know what kind of problems you will experience in the concrete jungle
If you’re boss won’t allow you to bring your bike into your office and have it sit next to your desk, then you better get a lock. OnGuard Locks are a great deal! I have the Doberman 5027. This lock is backed by a lifetime warranty that protects you from any manufacturer’s defects. One time my key broke inside the tumbler and they replaced it for free. They even have a protection plan that will cover your bike costs up to $4000 in case theft has occurred while being protected by an OnGuard Lock.
Do all of your co-workers a favor and make sure you take care of this issue. If you don’t have a shower at work, then here’s what has helped me:
I make sure I take a shower in the morning and then use a nifty little product called, “Crystal Body Deodorant.” The Crystal stick works great because it prevents odor causing bacteria to develop once it’s been applied. You put this stuff on just like a regular deodorant right after your shower. Put it under your arms, your feet and yes….even your “boys.” Basically you use the Crystal anywhere that you don’t want becoming stinky.
When you do get to work, you’re most likely going to be sweaty, but not stinky because of the Crystal. So in order to clean up, bring a bar of soap with you in a zip lock bag and a wash cloth. Wash yourself good, making sure you wash your sweaty head, arms and chest. Then splash on a bit of cologne.
If that’s too much trouble, I’ve heard of people using baby wipes. But if smelling like a baby isn’t your thing, then get some Lever 2000 Body Wipes. You get 40 for $3.00
Now that you’re finally at work and cleaned up, you can start thinking about how much money you saved by riding your bike to work. To figure this out, you can easily download an Excel Spread Sheet that my teammate created to help us calculate how much money we do save.
Money is a great motivator for anyone, but there are plenty of benefits from biking to work. Here’s a few:
1. Your health improves
2. Lose weight
3. You get to ride your bike
4. You save tons of cash
5. You arrive to work and get home, stress free!