As May just started, I am now adjusting to my new commuting schedule. As you will recall, in the fall, winter, and early spring, I commute to work by train. This means a long winter of cold walks to and from the train. But, in the late spring and summer, I enjoy the opportunity to bike to work. Saving money by biking to work is practical for me. More importantly, it’s not just a way to save money – it’s a great way to get exercise at the same time. We all know that life gets busy and so being able to multi-task in this way helps me out.
Preparing for the Change in Commuting
Making the change from taking the train every day to biking to work isn’t as easy as it sounds. There is a little bit of work that goes into preparing for the change. The first and probably the most important is trying to get into shape. I don’t worry too much about this as I only have to bike 5 miles each way, but it does mean that I am biking inside after work at least twice a week. I trust that I will be able to handle the distance (as i did last year) and get into shape as I get started.
Another important step of preparation is getting your bike ready. This means getting a tune up and buying all of the necessary accessories. While everyone has their own accessories, here’s a list of what I am using this year:
- Water Bottle (this is a necessity)
- Front and Back Bike Lights (safety first)
- Mirror (great for weaving in an out of NJ traffic)
- Small Air Pump (for emergency flats)
- Replacement Tube (for emergency flats)
- Multi-tool (this has everything you need to make adjustments)
- Bike Rack (over back tire)
- Panniers (great for avoiding riding with a backpack)
This year is the first year of using the last two items. I went through the entire summer last year with riding with everything on my back. This meant the change of clothes, small towel, and my lunch was on my back. It wasn’t a lot of weight, but it did make my back a lot sweatier when it was 100 degrees out. I am too cheap to buy the panniers that I am using this year – so I was happy to win them in a bike commuting contest last year. (FYI: The panniers were the second place prize. The first place prize was an electronic bike by trek valued at $2,000. Yes, I am still a little disappointed that I didn’t win the bike.)
For those who don’t follow me on twitter or haven’t liked my facebook page, I got my bike ready for the commuting season a couple weeks ago. If you want to see what my bike looks like fully-equipped (without the water bottle) for the miles ahead, I’ve provided a picture below.
If you are wanting a great way to get in shape, save a few bucks in gas, and save the environment, why not consider biking to work.