Some cyclists like to take a whole weeks worth of shirts into work at the start of the week. Others like myself, just take a work shirt in each day. Folding up ironed shirts is fine – just fold it up and place it into a plastic bag. It won’t get creased too much and by the time you have finished showering in a warm steamy shower area, you’ll find any creases that formed will be quickly gone.
What if it rains?
Generally, it doesn’t rain that much during peak hour morning and night. You’ll notice that rain throughout the day is more common. It will rain occasionally while you commute by bike but on the whole during your 30 minute to 1 hour ride each day, rain will be infrequent. Remember to place your phone and wallet into a waterproof bag inside your backpack or panniers so if you do get soaked, your valuables won’t.
What if it is hot?
Pace yourself until you reach a consistent level of fitness. Slap on plenty of sunscreen – you can still get sunburnt after 5pm. Face, neck and arms but don’t put too much near your eyes or forehead because when you sweat, the sunscreen will run into your eyes. Use a cycling cap under your helmet so the top of your head does not get burnt.
Some of my friends like to drive in to work half way and pull the bike out of their car near a bike trail and commute the rest of the way. This is a handy piece of advice if you live further than say 20-30 kilometres from your destination. Find a nice quiet suburban street to park your car close to where you can commence riding. You could also take your bike onto a train for half the route.
Cycling to work will almost always offer you a predictable journey time day after day. Unlike driving and catching public transport where often situations are out of your control, cyclists rarely get caught in bottlenecks.
Get familiar with maps of your ride and don’t worry if your route does not “go as the crow flies”. Sometimes to have a clear ride, venturing north, south, east or west for a few kilometres can get you to your destination quicker.
How fast can I ride?
Most people can probably ride at 17-24 kph with starting levels of fitness. As your fitness improves you can probably cycle at 25-30kph within a few months using a traditional racer/ road and hybrid bike. Using a modern mountain bike you can probably maintain speeds of between 20-26 kph.
We recommend that you check over your bike every few days (or every day if you can), check the tyre pressures, wheel spokes are straight and not wobbly and ensure your chain and cogs are clear of obstructions. You’ll soon notice things wrong with your bike once you understand it’s rhythm and movements. Here is a good site we recommend for preventative bike maintenance.
Will my bottom and legs hurt?
Yes it might hurt a little bit until your body gets used to it. Make sure you have a padded seat to start off, this will give you a little extra cushioning. Your legs might feel sore the day after your first cycle, as might your shoulders and arms. Within a few days, your whole body will adjust to the new movements and within weeks it will become second nature.
Over the last 8 years, I have averaged a flat tyre once a year considering I cycle close to 200 days per calendar year. It takes no longer than 15 minutes to perform a change and some can manage this under 7 minutes. Most road and mountain bike tyres have a strong kevlar belts inside the rim to prevent most piercings from sharp objects left on the road.
- Know the road rules
- Ride in a predictable, confident and consistent manner
- Ride according to the weather and road conditions
- Dress appropriately so that you can take layers off as you warm up