So, you’ve been thinking about changing up your commute to something a little more eco-friendly? Or, perhaps you’ve just had it with sitting in traffic as you watch bikers zoom by? Regardless, you won’t regret commuting to work on your Bluejay Bike. Not only will you get to start—and end—your workday with a little fresh air, but thanks to pedal assist you won’t arrive at your office as a sweaty, exhausted mess. Your boss will thank us.
But before you hop on your bike next Monday, here are our 5 top commuting tips to keep in mind.
1. Don’t Expect to Commute Five Days a Week From the Jump
You might be beyond excited about finally getting to ditch your daily subway or bus ride, but we don’t recommend pushing yourself to commute by bike five days a week from the start. Especially if it’s a pretty far distance from your home to your desk. In fact, you’ll probably want to do a test ride on a Saturday or Sunday, so you know what to expect from the route—and how you’ll feel once you’ve finally made it to your destination. After that, start off by riding your Bluejay to work just one or two days a week. Once you feel fully comfortable with this new habit, you can keep adding days to your bike commute until you’re hitting the pedals every day of the work week, morning and night.
2. Don’t Rush Yourself
As a bike commuter, you don’t have to deal with train delays or traffic jams anymore...but that doesn’t mean you should expect to arrive at your office at the exact time your GPS says. Expect the unexpected and be prepared for literal roadblocks, whether that’s a flat tire, closed streets and other road-related mishaps. Plus, allowing yourself a little extra time to make the trek might help you enjoy your twice-daily ride a bit more. That means you’ll arrive at the office less stressed, an added bonus that even your coworkers will benefit from.
3. Learn the Rules of the Road (AKA the Bike Lane)
Remember, the bike lane isn’t yours alone. You actually have to share it with your fellow bikers and respect the rules. That means keeping right as you ride and passing on the left, plus checking to make sure you’re not cutting anyone off when you turn off the road. You should also familiarize yourself with the hand signals for turns and stopping—and actually put them to use as you’re rolling along. If you see a line of bikers waiting at a stoplight or stop sign, find your place at the end of the line and wait your turn. These might seem like little things, but showing that you respect the rules of the, uh, bike path will go a long way when it comes to gaining respect from your fellow riders.
4. Travel Light...But Don’t Forget the Necessities
There are so many things you might need to prepare for your bike commute that you wouldn’t need otherwise. For example, if your office doesn’t have showers and you’ll be biking through the height of summer, you’re going to want to have deodorant or body wipes handy and you are not going to want to forget your trusty bike lock, so you can park your bike and not stress about it. Plus, if your morning or evening ride will be taking place in the dark, you’ll want to make sure to pack some reflective gear. And if there’s rain in the forecast for later, a raincoat is a must.
If all that seems like a lot to stuff into a tote, you’re right. You might find it best to find a chic backpack—or go with any ol’ backpack you already own—or a messenger bag with a zip or flap closure. Planning on traveling super light? Just swap out your usual crossbody bag with a belt bag. You can wear it strapped close around your chest or around your waist, so you can focus on the road ahead and not worry about your bag slipping off.
Can’t go to work without your briefcase or tote bag? The Bluejay Front Basket Rack is perfect for you, as it’s roomy enough to safely house those types of bags during your ride and, because it attaches to the handlebars, it adds some steering stability. However, if you’d prefer your stuff affixed to your back rack, the Tuckernuck Pannier Basket will do exactly that, with a chic woven rattan finish.
And this goes without saying: You better wear a helmet.
5. Don’t Ride Into Work in Heels
You have a big meeting at 9 AM that you need to look sharp for. But you’re not going to want to ride all those miles in your best heels. Not only will they be uncomfortable but they could prove to be unsafe in a few situations. And your gorgeous kicks could get ruined in an instant, especially if you come across a puddle that you can’t swerve to avoid. (We all know the pain of saying goodbye to a pair of dirty suede or leather pair of heels.) So, consider biling to and from the office in a pair of sneakers, thick-soled boots or basically any shoe with a flat sole that is safely secured to your foot. Then, when you get to your desk, you can change into the shoes that impress.
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