Everything You Need to Start Bike Commuting to Work
By Josh Letsinger
You bought a bike during the pandemic, so now what? Pat yourself on the back if you rode your bike more than twice last year, that’s awesome! Ridership across the globe increased threefold according to some estimates. 2020 saw a renaissance of cycling which has many asking the question, “is it here to stay?” At Senestre Creative, we sure as hell hope it does. Why You Should Ride Your Bike to Work
As offices begin to safely reopen, your return to work will require you to get out of your sweatpants and be presentable once more. You’ll have to deal with traffic, crowded parking lots and more time spent just… sitting. Why not take advantage of your commute?
Cycling has so many positive benefits to not only your body, but to your mind. Beyond the general benefits you get from exercise, biking actually makes you happier. Your body releases endorphins during activity that are like little “happy bubbles” to your brain that relieves pain and stress. Other body chemicals are released during biking that help you sleep, control appetite and boost confidence.
Does it seem like a lot of marketing and creative agencies promote biking? Creativity can be boosted by biking to work. If you switch your route up you increase your creativity, ability to problem solve and your awareness. Ditch the cup of coffee (well, maybe just have a little less) and stimulate your brain by biking!
We know this is easier said than done which is why many people hesitate to jump on the saddle right away. There are a few things that you need to know before improving your life, which is why we’re here to help get you started. Let’s begin with the simple, but important concept of how you are going to kickstart this lifestyle change.
How to Ride Your Bike to Work
We hear some common excuses a lot when asking people why they don’t ride: “I live too far away” or “I don’t know how to start” or “it just doesn’t work for me”. Let’s dive right in and see if we can’t find some creative solutions to these problems.
The best place to start is by getting a bike! What kind of bike you get will vary greatly but some things to consider are:
● What are your seasons like?
● How far are you riding?
● What is your body type?
● What’s your budget?
Any local bike shop will be able to help you answer these questions and get you fitted with a bike that meets your needs. If you aren’t interested in purchasing a bike, many cities will offer bike-share programs where you can rent bikes! This is a great option if you don’t want to worry about maintenance, storage or shelling out a chunk of change right out of the gate.
Our next piece of advice is to make biking work for you. If you work downtown and your pain point is parking, then throw your bike in the car and park just outside of the office. Jump on your bike to finish the commute and never worry about parking again.
The final excuse that we hear too often is that it just doesn’t work. There are so many options out there that we argue it can work for anyone – you just have to take that first step. Let’s go over some basic gear that will make that first trip seem like riding a bike (get it?). What You need to Equip Your Commuter Bike
● Bike- of course. There are so many different factors that play into what type of bike but your local shop will help you narrow it down to what you need. If you already have an old bike wasting away, then it’s time to dust it off and tune it up!
● Helmet- Our suggestion here is to spend a little extra on a helmet that you want to wear. Riding with a helmet is so important and it protects all of that creative energy in your brain that’s waiting to burst out!
● Bike Lock- Protect your investment! We recommend U Locks for the highest level of protection.
● Lights- Don’t get caught in the dark- get some lights! They make it way easier to be seen and you can even trick your ride out with color-changing LED lights for bikes. Let your character shine through.
● Tire Pump and Repair Kit- Nobody likes a flat tire but sadly, it can happen to anyone. A simple hand pump and tube repair kit would work great, or you can consider tubeless options to significantly reduce the possibility of a flat.
● Messenger Bag/Backpack/Panniers- This is how you’ll get your laptop, planner, lunch and work documents to its final destination. There are pros and cons to all three but we are big fans of panniers. They can hold a lot, attach to the bike and keep the weight off of your body and on the bike. It gets pretty hot here in Boise and the more layers you can shed in the summer the more air can flow over your body to cool you off.
Those are the necessities! It really is that simple and the more you indulge on your daily ride, you’ll find so many fun options to add character to your bike.
It’s Go Time
While we’re on the subject, now is a great time to talk to your company about becoming a bike- friendly office. You’re now an expert on bike commuting so put it into practice with these simple office ideas to get everybody on board:
● Install bike racks inside/outside of the building
● Get an office bike for people to ride during the day
● Have a couple bike locks in case someone forgets theirs
● Create a “bike to work week” with drawings and prizes
● Offer a safe-cycling course for the team
● Guarantee emergency rides home (ride-share, taxi, etc.)
We hope that you now have the confidence to get out and start riding. The sun is out and things are starting to warm up- there is no better time than now to make the commitment. Take this weekend to load up on the essentials and plan your route to work.
You are at a pivotal point in your bicycle’s life – you can choose to dust it off and get back on the saddle, or let it become victim to a Marketplace transaction after another year of idleness. You can do this!