bicycle With the weather warming up, gas prices always climbing, and irritating drivers becoming more and more common, it might be a good time to look at pedaling your way to work. Biking to work often can sound intimidating to people who don’t have a lot of experience cycling, and may seem like more trouble than it’s worth. Here are some easy tips to get you started. It might actually get you to work faster and happier.

1. Find the best route

For safety, speed, and comfort, it is vital that you find the best route to the workplace. Often local agencies will provide maps with bike trails to help you plan, such as these helpful routes.  However, if you don’t feel safe or comfortable on your commute, you probably shouldn’t attempt it. Sometimes a mixed commute is necessary depending on the roads in your area and distance. Buses and trains have bike racks to accommodate for this.

2. Get a bike that works for you

Any bike you already own is an affordable option. If you don’t want to use your personal bike, or if you don’t have one, you can try transit bikes. Bikes built for the purpose of urban transit are usually very durable and low maintenance. One of the most vital pieces to obtaining a reliable bike is to get tires a Great White shark would think twice about chewing into. Nothing bogs down a morning commute like a flat tire. Carry tools you know how to use such as a pump and a spare, but prevention is the best medicine here. Kevlar lined or solid rubber are both good options, but keep in mind the solid rubber ones add a bit of weight. You also need to make your bike street friendly by adding some lights, and fenders to keep the road debris off of you.

3. Get the right gear

If its a mile or so, maybe you can just ride in your work clothes, but longer than that and you may show up to work looking like you swam there. Cycling clothes are great for fighting the sweat, and you can change at work. Backpacks can also build up the sweat, so a rack or basket is a cool alternative. A multi-tool, patch kit, bike lock, and flashing lights, regardless of time of day, are all essentials. An amateur mistake is to bring all the tools without learning how to use them first. Make sure you are familiar with what you bring. Helmets, glasses, and gloves are all a given; remember safety is the first priority.

4. Take a test run

Pick a weekend or day off to run through the route like you would on a work day. This is important for spotting any delays that you hadn’t thought of and will really lower the stress of the first real commute. Even though most people live within 10 miles of their workplace, it can still seem intimidating so it’s okay to start small and work up to the full distance. Start with 1 or 2 days a week as bike to work days to see if it is practical for you.

5. Have fun and be safe

Cyclists often have a lot of advantages over cars, such as primo parking spots, a great exercise to start the day, and beautiful trails. Take advantage of these, and enjoy the ride. If you don’t enjoy it, you are unlikely to continue to do it, so make it fun for you and stay safe. For more tips on how to stay safe while biking, and for what to do in case of an accident, please visit us at or call us at 1-800-LAW-BOOK for a free comprehensive handbook on cycling in Utah.

Photo courtesy of masatoshi.