Commuting by Bike: Things to Know, Part 2.
Following our blog last week on things to keep in mind whilst cycling, pandemic legislation has already put the initial push back to the workplace on hiatus. Nevertheless, for those who still need to get to the office, this week will highlight further important points to remember before you start using your bike to commute.
Deciding to take your bike to work is not one a choice that can be taken lightly. While you can quickly get used to the route and experience of cycling every day, the initial few days of it will require some getting used to. To make this an easier transition, it is best to know where you are going and what route you will take.
It is a good idea to cycle your way to the workplace on a day you are not going to work, at a quieter time, to ensure you do not get lost. Once you are on your commute, other road users, including cyclists, will assume you are used to the pace and nuances of the route. Getting this experience in will give you a better chance of not encountering any nasty surprises. You can also download street density services like Strava Heatmaps for an idea of how busy the roads are and plan your best route.
Additionally, if you are starting your commute with a new e-bike, familiarise yourself with the manual- riding an e-bike is just like riding a normal bike, but you might be surprised at the power behind its assistance levels.
As a cyclist you have as much right to use the road as any other vehicle, but this means you must respect the laws like everybody else. Breaking these laws by cycling badly carries penalties, of varying degrees of severity. Careless cycling and dangerous cycling can incur penalties of £1,000 and £2,500, respectively. While jumping a red light has the relatively low on the spot fine of £50; it also gives cyclists a bad name amongst drivers and, more importantly, can be a life-threatening move.
Whilst cycling, do not tailgate the car in front. Automobiles in slow traffic will have a shorter stopping distance than most bikes, meaning a collision with the vehicle in front is likely. Also do not allow yourself to be boxed in by cars or be restricted from your exits but look to always maintain a window out from the traffic.
If you are unsure of the rules of the road and of good cycling etiquette, consider taking lessons. They are offered by many local city councils, which are currently making them more easily available in a bid to promote biking.
Clothing is a very important choice for your commute by bike. While this will vary from person to person, and also if you are using the assistance of an e-bike, your commute has the chance of being a sweaty ride.
Some office goers choose to don full cycling gear and keep their work attire at a dry cleaner’s nearby, taking a shower at the workplace if they have the facilities. Alternatively, if the commute is not too far or strenuous, some cycling commuters may not need to shower and can just go in your work clothes. However, you may want to invest in cycling gear anyway to prevent associated discomforts of the activity like chafe.
Cycling gear will also help you when cycling in the rain. Indeed, a significant stumbling block for Britons regularly commuting to work by bike is wet weather; commit to your new morning routine with waterproof cycling attire.
Cycling to work is easy if you remember these important measures. It can also be made easier with the assistance of an e-bike. Experience this for yourself by booking a test ride and or seeing our range at ARCC Bikes.
Photo credits: Richard Peace