Adapting to the “NEW REALITY”, people must be cautious of some biking protocols for a hassle free bike commute.
Bike at your own pace. This is not a race. Remember that work will be waiting for you at the finish line, whether you bike slow or fast. Compute the time it takes you to work and leave your home minus that time. There is no traffic, so give or take just 5 to 10 mins and you will arrive on that specific time always. My advice: pedal leisurely. No need to sweat it out. if the road is uphill, change your gear. Make your bike time a happy time.
Protect yourself. Wear a mask, shades and helmet. Shades protect your eyes from “puwing”, masks are mandatory and a good helmet can save a life. Helmets are good investments; there are excellent mid range helmets that are not so expensive. Just be aware of their brands and models. My advice: buy a helmet that fits you snugly. There are sizes for helmets (S, M, L, XL) so you better measure your head (if you are ordering online). I suggest you purchase a helmet that you can fit first, so you will know how it feels. The lighter the helmet and more ventilation, the better. Leave the high end helmets (expensive ones) to the rich folk, bike pros and enthusiasts.
Dress appropriately. Use comfortable clothes to pedal in. It is up to you if you want to use your work clothes, or you can change into your work clothes when you arrive at the office. My advice: change your top. I usually use quick drying shirts (for sports) in the morning, change and wash up when I arrive at work, let the shirt dry and use the same shirt when going home.
Maintain your bike. Make sure that your tires have air (pindot method), your chain is well lubricated and your brakes work. If there are any squeaks and other funny noises in your ride, go to your local bike shop and tell them what is bothering you. My advice: befriend your local bike shop mechanic. Chat with them, ask them how to maintain the bike, and give him a nice tip. The next time you need repairs, your guy will be extra nice.
Move as if you were an invisible ninja. This is a tip I give to all bikers who are about to go out in the crazy urban jungle. You have to be alert as a ninja, quick to react and very agile when you need to stop, brakes! If you need to make a quick turn, be fast and nimble. Always assume that the driver/ motorcycle rider does NOT see you. Get out of the way, if you hit that vehicle, you will be sorry. Look ahead and be aware of your surroundings. Listen to warnings and be attentive of your environment. My advice: Wear reflective gear and put lights on your bike. Get USB-ready rechargeable bike lights (so you don’t have to buy batteries always). Now if you move like an invisible ninja even if they see you with all your lights and reflectors, that is double safety.
Be a courteous rider. Use the bike lanes, or if there are none, move out of the way of cars. Choose your lane and do not bother anyone, drivers nor pedestrians. You do not want to be a pest in the road and create ruckus and negative emotions. Be friendly, be giving and share the road. My advice: Obey traffic rules and regulations. If you need to stop, pause. Wait it out. Smile to people and ring your bike bell.
Secure your bike. Always remember to lock your bike. Leaving your bike unlocked is like leaving your wallet in the floor. People might not steal it, but do not tempt them to do stuff they do not want to do. If you do not have a bike lock, get a chain and padlock, loop it into the frame and anchor the bike on something permanent. My advice: get a combination lock. No excuse not to lock your bike because you do not have a key. Just memorize the combination and you are done for life.
Bike Slow, Homie!
These are just a few reminders for bike commuters who want to maximize their bike experience going to work. If you have any comments and other important tips, please key it in below so we can tell it to the cycling community. Ride safe and live life with balance!