Avoiding Common Cycling Pitfalls
Do you live 20 miles from work? It might seem like there’s no way you could bike commute, but what if you just replaced part of your drive with a bike ride? Could you drive into town, then park and hop on your bike for the last couple of miles? City driving is much less fuel efficient than on the highway, so you’d still be making a big impact just by replacing part of your drive with a bike ride.
If you feel like you’re too out of shape, don’t fret! I got some sage advice from a fellow cyclist once that changed how I saw my daily ride to work. This fellow blasted past me on a hill where I was struggling, and at the red light, I made a comment about how wussy I was on my bike. He turned to me and said, “It’s not a race, it’s a commute.” Amen to that! Don’t worry about being slow or even if you have to hop off of your bike and walk up a tough hill. It’s not about being the best, it’s just about getting out of your car to do something good for you and for the planet.
As far as weather is concerned, some planning can go a long way. Unless there are severe, dangerous conditions, don’t let a little bit of rain or a hot day keep you off of your bike! If it’s raining, put on a slicker and pack a change of clothes (in a reused plastic bag is best, so they’ll stay dry even if your bag gets soaked). On a hot day, don’t bother dressing for work before you hop onto your bike. Pack your work clothes and put them on when you get to your destination. If you’re sweaty, you can clean up in the bathroom before you get dressed. You might also look into nearby gyms to see if they offer a discounted membership if you’re only planning to use the shower after your ride.
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Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by twotone666