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9 Tips That’ll Make You Ready for Your First Bike Ride to Work

By Adam Marsal

How long have you been considering cycling to work? Commuting is more fun than you’d expect and, apart from joy, it gives you a lot of mental energy for the day. Before you set the D Day, make sure everything is ready to go.

1. Plan the most convenient route

Even though there are many ways to get you into your work seat, not all of them will do that safely and comfortably. Try to find the best possible route during the weekend when you have plenty of time to explore the hidden streets and roads of your city. Don’t rush but don’t trudge either to get the real picture of how much time you’ll need to get to your destination. Then add a third due to traffic that might slow you down on a workday. Once you get used to the daily route, you will make it in a better time. Since nobody wants to come late on the very first commuting day, it’s advisable to arrange for the beginner’s “buffer”.

Commuting along the canal © Profimedia

2. Prepare your bike

In your memories, you owned one of the most reliable bikes since the wheel was invented but a brief technical check can’t make it worse. We recommend doing it a couple of days before your grand departure so you have time to see your bike mechanic if something doesn’t work according to the plan. If derailleurs and brakes feel fine during the test ride, pump both tires and lube the chain. As soon as the drivetrain runs smoothly, wipe the chain properly to prevent grease from soiling your clothes while cycling to work.

3. Think about dress change

The least popular thing about bike commuting is that you’re most likely to get wet due to sweating or foul weather. That can be avoided only by riding on an e-bike that adds some extra power to your pedalling or picking only sunny days, which would make your bike commuting dependent on Mother Nature. Look around your company’s building if a shower or changing room is available that would keep you in a more enjoyable state thorough the working day.

4. Find parking

There will be different possibilities to store your bike safely depending on your employer’s capabilities. Big companies usually offer dedicated bike storages for their employees. If they’re not visibly marked, you might ask in the HR department for help. Should you park your bike in a public place, search for a safe place in advance where you can leave your ride with a strong bike lock.

changes to become a true intermodal transfer terminal, fully mobilising the potential synergy between bicycle use and public transport. Users can cycle all the way to (electronically indicated) available slots. Additional facilities such as a cycle repair shop and a bike rental service help meet every need of the users. © Profimedia, Avalon Editorial, Wang Yanan

5. Pack the bag

Since you want everything to run smoothly in the morning, prepare your bag in advance so you can just grab it and go. Put the heavier items like a laptop charger or shoes at the bottom for better balance. If you plan to change clothes at work, fold them neatly a put them in the bag separately to keep them clean.

6. Consider buying a hands-free set

Some people are used to arranging a lot of tasks already while getting to work. If you belong among them, consider buying a hands-free set to connect with your smartphone. Depending on your country’s laws, this solution would help you to clear up inevitable calls without pulling over.

7. Charge the batteries

Unless your bike carries lights powered by a dynamo, you’ll need to recharge the front and rear lights. Keep them on during the entire ride.

When in London, always check the weather forecast. © Profimedia

8. Check the weather forecast

You want to come to work clean and dry as usual even after the first commute, don’t you? If your first commuting day should be Monday and the weather girl promises a downpour, consider moving the ride to some better day. After several weeks of cycling to work, you’ll learn how to face the vagaries of weather smoothly.

9. Set two alarms

One alarm to wake you up as usual and the second one to notify you about the departure time. Set the alarm to have enough time to complete the route, have a shower and change your clothes.