Cyclist commuting to workDid you know that HALF of all daily trips in this country are five miles or less? With this short a distance, bicycling would be a fun, easy, and practical way to travel to school, work, or do errands. Especially in Salt Lake City, combined with the local transit, biking can also be an efficient way to commute over longer distances. Adding cycling to your daily routine might be an adjustment, but the benefits far outweigh the costs! You will arrive at work/school/an appointment alert and motivated, you will arrive at home relaxed and accomplished, you will save a lot of money on gas, and you will just feel great!

Let’s talk about getting yourself to work! The Utah Department of Transportation  has some great advice:

To get started, make sure you plan your route in advance before you ride it, and make sure to test said route on a day you have off (or at least one that your boss won’t mind you being a little late!) Time yourself, and plan accordingly for days when you need to be there punctually. The first few times you ride, give yourself a little more time. But don’t give up! Soon you’ll get used to the route and your fitness level will increase. Sometime’s it is easier to commute with company, so ask anyone around the workplace if they’d be interested in traveling with you. Often people are already considering it themselves, and will need your suggestion as the extra push to motivation!

Talking to your employer is always a good idea. Let them know you’re starting to bike to work, and ask for their support. Generally, no boss is going to be unsupportive of a more healthy, active employee! Their support might include allowing you to change or store work/cycling clothes, or a bag of toiletries somewhere in the office, so you can be ready for a professional day.

Depending on your workplace’s dress code, you may want to consider keeping a change of clothes there. Here are some tips for what clothes to bring.

  • Suit separates, like jackets, slacks, and skirts are ideal for keeping at work. They don’t need to be cleaned often, and can be reused frequently.
  • Neutral shades and styles are always a good idea. You can use them more frequently, and no one will notice. 
  • Easily-wrinkled articles of clothing can be rolled with a less-likely-to-wrinkle article on the inside in order to avoid wrinkles.
  • Cotton knit dresses, separates, and sweaters don’t wrinkle easily, they can be stored in a drawer, and can come out looking as formal as pressed shirts or skirts.
  • Shoes can easily be stored, and easily be re-worn without a second glance from any peer.
  • You might want to consider keeping an extra stash of accessories. Ties, scarves, socks, and even clean undergarments might very well come in handy!

Riding your bike to work will make a huge difference in how you feel everyday. Just take it day-by-day at the beginning, and your endeavor to be healthier will pay off quickly!

Good luck with your new trip to work!


Image courtesy of Richard Masoner