Bike to Work Commuter Essentials
Weather permitting, I am riding my bike to work today to celebrate National Bike to Work Day. I love riding my bike to work when warmer weather comes around. It’s more refreshing than riding the subway, I don’t have to sit in traffic like I would in a car, and I can shower at my gym down the street from the office so I don’t get to work all sweaty and gross. So, why would I ride the sticky, stinky subway when I could get exercise and actually feel clean at work? Because sadly, sometimes it rains or I just feel plain old lazy.
But, riding my bike to work requires a little bit of prep work. So for those of you who are considering it, already do it or are shopping for someone who does it…here are some of my favorite ‘bike to work’ gift ideas.
1. A Water Bottle with Filter lets you take water from just about any tap and create drinkable water as as you drink it through the filter in the cap. $19.99 Water bottles are essential for long rides.
2. I swear by my Giro Helmet. Every rider should wear a helmet. I have friends whose lives were literally saved because they were wearing a helmet while biking to work. It’s not worth messing around with your skull…it’s the only one we get!
3. Being prepared to take care of business when your bike breaks down is really important. I’ve had brake cables break, tires go flat and chains pop out. You need a compact bike repair tool kit that can help you fix common problems on the road.
4. A spacious bike basket comes in handy when you have to lug groceries, a gym bag or extra work home from the office. It keeps the weight off of your back, which is I prefer the basket to the backpack.
5. Not all bike locks are created equal. If you are locking your bike up outside for any amount of time, you need to get a kryptonite bike lock. They are the beasts of the bike lock world and are the hardest for thieves to cut through. It’s always better to loop the lock through as many parts of your bike as you can when locking it up.
6. Biking is a serious sport & by incorporating it into your daily routine, you can change your body dramatically. To keep tabs on your mph, calories burned and to not get lost on long rides I suggest a GPS heart rate monitor. They usually automatically synch up with your computer and tell you all kinds of amazing information about your rides.
7. Last, but not least, LED lights have made bike head & tail lights brighter than ever. Being seen is the key to not being hit so this is a no brainer if you plan to ride at dusk, dawn or in the dark. I like the kind that clip on and off so that I can take them with me when I park.
There are loads of fun biking tools, apps and communities out there that can make biking into a part of your lifestyle that you never want to give up. The League of American Cyclists website has everything you need to know to become a part of the local or national biking community. Your body will thank you for the exercise and scenery. Enjoy the ride!
*Image courtesy of League of American Cyclists