During the week it can be tough to get out for a ride. With work, family and kids, it can seem impossible. So, you wait for the weekend and go out for those long rides. Now, there is no problem with this. However, why not take advantage of the weather and the bike paths around our cities and commute to work. Commuting is a great way to get in those easy base kilometres as you train for your next big race. Also, it is a great way to get in some physical activity during your work week.
Here are some tips for when you commute.
Plan your route. Before you hit the roads, make sure you have an idea of how you’re going to get to work. Look for bike paths that are readily accessible to and from work.
Dust off your commuter. Make sure you have an extra bike lying around that you are comfortable with to take on the roads to and from work. It likely isn’t the best idea to bring out your TT or road bike for these commutes, as the roads can be unforgiving. Before heading out on your next commute, also make sure to do a check of your bike. Making sure it is in good working condition.
Know how to change a flat. It can happen, and it will likely occur at the most inopportune times. So be prepared. Take the time to practice how to change a flat and make sure you have the right tools, levers, tubes and pump.
Related: Bike repair: How to change a flat
Stash some extra clothes at work. At the beginning of the week make sure to bring some extra work and bike clothes. Bring any essentials you will need; a towel, toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant and body wash.
Check the weather. Yes, it is summer, and yes it is sunny. However, it’s always a good idea the night before to check the weather. Weather stations and apps have easy to monitor radar systems, so take advantage of that tool.
Bring a lock. If you’re able to store your bike at the office, that’s great. However, if you need to leave your bike on the street, make sure you invest in a good lock. When locking your bike, it’s a smart idea to lock through your frame and front wheel. Locking your back wheel is also a good idea, this can be done by using an extra cable.
Don’t look at your speed, power, etc. This ride is a commute. You’re going to be moving slower. You’ll have to be aware of drivers off to work, as well as other commuters. The idea of commuting is to get in some easy miles.
How can I do a workout? Okay, so if your hardcore, here are some ways to make your commute into a weekly training session. Let some air out of your tires to add rolling resistance. Use a heavier bike. Look for quiet roads or bike paths to do short efforts. The commute can be a great time to get in a quick workout, depending on how long your commute is and the terrain.
If you happen to live in Toronto and are interested in commuting, head to the Cycle Toronto website. The mission of Cycle Toronto is to advocate for safe, healthy and vibrant cycling in the city. From May 28th to June 30th, it is Bike Month in the Greater Toronto Area. Follow the link for more info on Bike Month in the Greater Toronto Area.