Bike To Work: Tips To Get You Started

17 April, 2018

So, want to hop on the bike-commuter trend? With warmer weather coming, it seems like this weekends upcoming celebrations of Earth Day (April 22) and May as Bike Month, you couldn't ask for a better time to get your commuter game on. Whether you’re in New York or somewhere else, now is the perfect time to skip the subway or car ride and head out via bike. Before you get started, here are some safety and bike style tips to ensure a safe and fun bike-commuting ride.

Be Prepared 
Before jumping on your bike, make sure you know a safe route. Look online for bike lanes and low-traffic streets to get you to your destination. Check to see where you can put your bike once you’re at work. Some offices have bike rooms, which is ideal, but if your office doesn’t, see if there is a safe place to lock your bike up outside (and invest in a good bike lock!). Some offices won’t allow you to bring your bike into the building so make sure you figure out exactly where your bike is going to go before you ride to work.

What To Carry
Can you leave your regular shoes or a change of clothes at work? Little things like that will make your ride more pleasant. As you pack, make sure you have a flat tire kit just in case (and learn how to change one). Check out the Uptown Bike Trunk Bag by Po Campo, where you can fit tools, work attire, laptops, lunch, makeup kit, a bike lock and more.
Pick Your Ride
There are hundreds of bikes to choose from, so make sure you end up with one that works for your route. Public Bikes M8i mixte commuter, Linus Bikes Scout 7, Brooklyn Bicycle Co's Willow 7 are my favorites! Each bike allows you to ride in a more upright position and has a 7-8 speed drivetrain, styled for comfort and performance up those hills. Bike share programs are also popping up in various cities so if you aren't ready to commit to buying a bike yet, see what your city as to offer (here is New York's program).

Cycling Essentials 
Cycling accessory companies are starting to cater to more fashion-conscious cyclists — not just the gearheads and die-hard commuters. Even when form has to follow function, you can still end up with some really gorgeous creations. We're talking handcrafted classic bike baskets, chic commuter bike bags, and bike bells. And if you're going to end up with helmet hair, the culprit might as well be an awesome-looking helmet, right?
Dress Appropriately
Biking in a skirt? Think about your outfit ahead of time and figure out what will work as a biking outfit and an office outfit (depending on how formal your office is, this will vary). Layering pieces is key. So if you want to wear a skirt to work, throw on a pair of leggings underneath for the ride (or put the skirt in a backpack and change once you're at the office). Keep in mind the weather might change from morning to evening so be prepared with a jacket. Mia Melon Commuter jacket is stylish and functionally perfect for keeping you warm but breathable on your ride. If you want a sportier look with a little hi viz, go for Sugoi Lightweight jacket, it's super light and packable so you can stash it in your bag if it gets too warm. 
Safety Tips 
Always obey traffic laws. Always ride with a helmet. Worried it's going to mess up your hair? Use the Cannondale Teramo helmet, which is pony-tail friendly and provides lot of ventilation to keep your head cool. Or check out Nutcase's complete helmet line which offers a wide range of styles and pricing. For a super chic helmet, check out Sawako's chic cycling helmets. Not sure when you'll be leaving work? If it might be dark, add Bookman's Curve Bike Lights to your bike and wear light colors. Always keep an eye on the weather. If there's a chance of storms, perhaps skip your ride that day. 
Biking to work can make for a relaxing start and end to your day, just make sure you're prepared and enjoy the ride!

Image: Refinery29

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