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A Checklist for Using Your Bike to Commute

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Although gas prices are down somewhat, they are still a lot more than they used to be.  Since riding your bike is economical, good for the environment, and helps you lose weight, we are all about helping our customers use them.  Aside from the obvious, here’s what you need to make the economical switch to a bike:

The Absolute Necessities

1.) a Bike Lock.  It is very unwise to leave a bike unlocked for any period of time.  Even if you have your bike registered, most stolen bikes never come back.  A cable lock is the most economical choice as well as the easist to put on, but is also the easiest to cut.  A U-lock with a rectangular keyhole shape is the hardest to pick.  When you put your lock on, be sure to put it through both the tire and over the frame of the bike for maximum security.

2.) a Helmet.  A hardcore fall or a collision could leave you brain damaged or even dead.  A simple helmet is inexpensive and can make all the difference.  What makes one helmet different from another?  A basic helmet can get you covered, but the higher end helmets a.) come in different sizes, b.) are ergonomically shaped to provide less wind resistance and c.) will be more properly ventilated.

3.) Bike Lights.  Inevitably you will ride at night or in twilight.  In some states, it is mandatory to have a bike light in the front as well as the back of your bike.  Some lights are bigger and brighter than others, so consider this in your search.

4.) Bottle Cage and Water Bottle.  Your car needs fuel and so do you.  Getting dehydrated can leave you stranded somewhere and can make any ride a very unpleasant experience.

Other Helpful Accessories

1.) A Rear Frame Wrack.  If you are commuting with your bike, you’ll probably be carrying something.  A rear frame wrack will allow you to tie things to your bike, including a trunk.

2.) A Tailwind Trailer.  There’s no use in leaving the little ones at home.  Hook up your trailer to your bike and take the kids to the store, the park, or wherever you need to go.

If you’d like to calculate how many miles you’ve ridden and how much gas you’ve saved, get a trip computer.  You can also calculate all the calories you burn as you go. :D

Are you a fan of cycling as a form of sustainable transportation?  Consider joining our Facebook group “Get Green, Get Fit, Get a Bike” for more cool updates.  Join NuRide to earn as you ride.  If you need a bike, visit one of our stores and you’ll be on your way in no time.



2 Comments on “A Checklist for Using Your Bike to Commute”

  1. #1 Dan
    on Oct 20th, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    As someone who bike commutes in the Portland Oregon area, I have to also suggest the inclusion of an emergency kit, things like a spare tube, tire wrench, air pump, and disposable towels (to clean your hands of course).

    Also as the days get shorter, reflective/bright clothing. It’s hard to see hand signals as the daylight disappears.

  2. #2 Michelle Greer
    on Oct 21st, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Dan, that’s a great idea. Very important in remote areas especially where help is not readily available. Here’s a kit:
    http://www.sunandski.com/Rav_X_Bike_Basics_Kit_p/7752063090801.htm

    Most of our clothing has reflective fibers in it, but I passed it on to our buyer that we should have reflective vests too.

    Thanks for your suggestions.

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