Today is the beginning of the 2023 National Bike to Work Week, May 15 – 21!
The first National Bike to Work Day was started by the League of American Bicyclists in 1956 to promote the viability, as well as the health benefits, of commuting by bicycle. Since its inception, it has grown into an event celebrated in numerous cities throughout the United States.
To celebrate the national Bike to Work Week, Bike Easy is happy to provide information that will be helpful to anyone riding a bike to work. Please read below for helpful tips that will prepare you for commuting by bike.
Bicycling can be easy, safe and fun for everyone. Bikes are a great mode of transportation for commuting to work. Bicycling is a great way to get exercise, cut carbon emissions, and be a part of a growing community of people who bike to work. Just this past April, Bike Easy hosted the April Challenge in which hundreds of riders logged over 58,000 miles and cut 6.382 lbs. of CO2. Bicycling to work is a growing movement.
Before you begin biking to work, it is important to choose a bike that fits properly and is comfortable. Check with a local bike shop about options and get advice on what fits best. Electric bikes allow for more accessibility by assisting riders with pedaling and hybrid bikes are easier to mount. Once you have chosen a bike that is comfortable you can begin equipping it with items such as a rack which creates ease of carrying items with you while biking to work.
Bikes and associated gear cost money, but there are cheaper options for used bikes through community and local bike shops. Blue Bikes offers a wide range of bike plans that are as cheap as $4/ month for those who have Medicaid or EBT benefits.
Always check your bike to make sure it is safe to ride before you begin commuting. It is recommended to do an ABC Quick check. Before bicycling check your Air pressure in tires, that Brakes are working properly, Chain and Cranks, and all quick release levers associated with wheels and seat. It is a process that takes a short amount of time and can save lives. Also make sure to have a properly fitting bike helmet.
When commuting, it is important to have comfortable, breathable clothing for commuting. Consider bringing a change of clothes for your workplace. Have clothing and gear for all types of weather. There are waterproof bags and ponchos made specifically for bicycling. Other tools and items that can be helpful are water, a hand pump, bike tools, patch kits, and a small first aid kit.
Make sure you have a secure place to lock up your bike. If you have an employer, ask them about indoor bike storage. If you are the owner of a business, Bike Easy has a discount bike rack program (For more information, click here). If you do keep your bicycle outside, it is important to make sure it is properly secured and does not obstruct walkways.
While riding your bike to work, it is important to be predictable by using signals to allow others to understand your intent in traffic. Knowing safety drills and maneuvers, such as the quick stop, are important ways to protect yourself from crashes. Remember to always scan before changing lanes and yield to faster traffic.
Predictability largely depends on knowing your route and where you are going. Plan by mapping out your ideal route for commuting to work such as choosing less trafficked streets or directions that include bike infrastructure like shared paths and protected lanes. Please click here to check out Bike Easy’s online bike map!
It is also important to know the laws that protect and govern people on bikes. Louisiana law for instance states that people in motorized vehicles must give people on bikes at least three feet of room when passing and that a person must have a rear red and front white bike light when riding at night. For more information on bike law in Louisiana, click here.
Lastly, it is important to hold the city responsible for maintaining our bikeways. If you would like to report issues pertaining to bike lanes, please click here.
See you out in the streets!