Biking To Work

I’ve waited nearly a work week to make sure I don’t post this prematurely, but it’s been four days now and I’m pretty sure I can say that from now on, in the regular case I’ll be riding my bike to work. There are certainly safety issues, since I live on the outskirts of Dallas, but I’ve done a lot research to make safe choices. I haven’t done everything he says on that site, but mostly that’s because I don’t want to ride on streets instead of sidewalks on big roads.

Just in case anyone is wondering, here’s the gear I’ve purchased:

First off, about half of that stuff is for safety. I need a helmet. I want lights so cars see me. The mirror is so I can see cars behind me. The tool, patch kit, and portable pump are just in case I need to fix something in the middle of my commute. I’ve already needed to tighten the handlebars about halfway, and it was pretty great to be able to fix that quickly and easily. I hope not to need to use the patch kit, but surely one day I will. I actually don’t have the bag listed above yet, I currently have a much smaller, much less useful bag, but I already ordered the one above based on reviews at REI. The nice thing about the bag is that all of those essentials I really need are part of the bike, so I don’t have to bring a larger back (bookbag) for those things.

Here is my current list of things to buy:

Of those things I am definitely going to buy the seat, as my current one is really, really uncomfortable. That one has a good price with great reviews. The sandals I’m not totally sure about, but I do need to get some real shoes for riding. The computer would be pretty cool to have, but that’s not necessary at all so I’ll probably wait till Christmas for that.

My plan is to bring work clothes and food on Monday in a backpack and then not have to bring the backpack again till Friday to bring it all back. So far that has worked fairly well. My initial route is pretty much unchanged for going to work, but one of the owners of my company told me about a bike path from Campbell to Renner, which is great for the ride back from work as it means I have way fewer crosswalks to use.

Interestingly, because of those crosswalks my commute home takes 15 minutes longer than the commute to work. I can get to work in about 30 minutes assuming there isn’t crazy traffic or anything, but the route home takes 45 minutes because of crosswalks or alternate routes.

If you ride a bike work, what tips do you have for us noobs?

Posted Fri, Sep 4, 2009