Things to think about before your first commute

I found this great page that has a list of 13 things to consider and a list of things to think about with your fellow workmates – the article is by By Gale Bernhardt For Active.com –  http://www.active.com/cycling/articles/bike-to-work-tips-for-your-first-commute

In short here are the 13 things to consider

  1. Begin with an achievable distance.
  2. Start with an achievable frequency.
  3. Wear a helmet.
  4. Wear clothing that can easily be seen by motorists.
  5. Don’t make a big deal out of special clothes and gear.
  6. Consider cycling shorts.
  7. Do a dry run on the weekend.
  8. Find routes with minimal traffic.
  9. Learn how to change a flat.
  10. Carry a cell phone and call for help if you have significant mechanical trouble.
  11. Take your clothes to work the day before you commute.
  12. Strategize your clean up time before work.
  13. Watch for parked car doors swinging open.

What’s Cool

  • One pant cuff rolled (hint: the right one)
  • Racks or panniers to carry commuting essentials
  • Bike commuting for any portion of your trip to work, even if it’s riding to a public transportation hub
  • Recruiting a friend to ride with you
  • Bike commuting in less-than-perfect weather conditions

What’s Not

  • inside-out bike shorts hanging on your cubicle wall
  • Riding on sidewalks
  • Listening to music while you should be listening for potential hazards around you
  • Weaving in and out of stopped or slowly moving traffic
  • Darting across medians and riding against traffic

Where do I start?

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I tend to jump into life changing moments with vim and vigor, only be to be disappointed in myself when I loose my way.

This time however I need this change to stick, so I am researching to find as much information around making this transformation as I can.  This is so I can plan and set realistic expectations, and love the change.

While I have been looking at this for some 6 months now, I have found it rather hard to find information on what to expect if commuting on a bike or even an e-bike.  It seems only hardcore street cyclist in their lycra seem to post.

On a resent trip to Amsterdam and some of the main Nordic countries, I saw first hand that commuting on a bike is the norm, and no special “lycra gear” is required.  After spending 6 weeks gorking in the windows of every bike shop I could find on my holiday I have decided to take the next step and make this apart of my weekly commute.

So I have been home 4 weeks now, and research research research seems to be where I am at. To be honest I have found it hard to get a good understanding on the following key points:

  • What type of e-bike would be best?
    • How do you even learn about the best motors, bike shapes, and size?
  • Do I need to get a degree in engineering to understand any of this??
  • Cycling paths vs riding on the road
    • what does my city council supply and what is coming?
  • How am I going to keep committed in this winter weather??
  • What accessories for a bike are need to haves vs that looks pretty!
  • Helmet – don’t get me started on helmets, seems like there is loads of choices if you want to be some road aerodynamic commuter, but I want something that is conformable, water proof, and most importantly – Safe
  • My list could go on and on and on!!!

To help bring some order into my decision making, and to help others thinking of doing the same, I decided to create this website….so welcome to my chaos!