As temperatures in Idaho begin to wind down, the mornings become the ideal temperature to bike to work comfortably. Biking to work can be both eco-friendly and cost-effective, making it a great alternative to driving or public transportation.
As the years have passed, biking has become an increasingly popular commute method. According to Bike Advisor, the number of commuters who bike to work increased by 61% from 2000 to 2019. With an increase in bikers on the road, it’s important to stay vigilant. Keep reading to learn a few tips to make your commute safer.
1. Be Aware of Local Laws
When it comes to riding a bike on the road, it's crucial to know the local laws. Different states and cities have specific regulations about not only where you can ride but also how you ride. For example, if you plan to be biking at night, your bike must have a front white light and a rear red reflector. These safety features must be visible from at least 500 feet away.
Furthermore, you should be the only rider on your bike if it is only designed for one person. The exception to this prohibition is if you are carrying a child in a sling. These are only a few of the requirements for biking in Idaho. It’s important to fully educate yourself on the laws and requirements in your area.
2. Learn Hand Signals
If you’re looking to make your commute on a bike, it's important to remember that you are not only less visible to drivers around you but also more exposed as you are not inside a vehicle. This makes it crucial to learn the proper bike hand signals to communicate with those sharing the road with you.
By using hand signals, you can indicate to drivers when you are turning, stopping, or changing lanes, making it easier for them to anticipate your movements and avoid potential collisions.
3. Practice Your Route
Before leaving on your first day of biking to work, it is wise to plan and ride your intended route in advance. This will help to ease any potential stress on the day of your commute. To help in your planning process, there are several useful cycling apps available that can assist you in mapping out your desired route.
With proper preparation and the support of these helpful tools, you can enjoy a stress-free and successful first day of bike commuting.
4. Decide What You Will Wear
Thinking ahead about what you should wear may save you some trouble. However, you don't have to feel like you need to wear athletic clothing just to ride. As long as you're comfortable, you can ride in whatever clothes you choose.
Here are a few points to consider:
- Consider weather conditions
- Avoid loose-fitting clothing and secure wide-leg pants with a strap
- Consider bringing a change of clothes or keeping a change of clothes at work
It's important to dress appropriately and comfortably for the ride ahead, but you don't need to go out and buy a whole new cycling wardrobe unless you decide to do so.
5. Figure Out How to Bring Work Items
Commuting by bike can be a great way to travel, but choosing how to carry your work gear is important for a smooth ride. If you have a gravel bike or hybrid, you can use mounts for racks to help haul your bags.
For other bikes, carrying a backpack may be the way to go. Just make sure it fits snugly and doesn't move while riding. In addition, opting for waterproof bags is a smart choice for any weather conditions you may encounter. Consider your options and choose the best way to pack for your commute on two wheels.
6. Bring a Bike Kit
Unexpected issues can arise at any moment while biking. That's why it's essential to carry a bike kit with you. A bike kit is your safety net in case of emergencies like flat tires or broken chains.
This kit may include the following items:
- Tire pump
- Spare inner tubes
- Tire levers
- And more
Having these items on hand will prevent a minor inconvenience from becoming a major problem and can help you get back on the road quickly. So, be sure to pack your bike kit with you on every commute to and from work.
7. Ride Carefully
As a cyclist, it's important to remember that you have just as much right to the road as any other vehicle. That being said, it's essential to practice safe riding habits, especially when navigating through traffic. One important tip to keep in mind is to always assume that parked car doors may open at any moment.
To avoid potential accidents or collisions, make sure to keep a safe distance between yourself and parked cars along the street. By taking this precaution and staying alert, you can help prevent potentially dangerous situations and stay safe while cycling.
8. Lock Your Bike
Biking to work has numerous benefits. However, one downside is the risk of theft. It's not uncommon for bikes to disappear from racks while you’re working. To prevent this from happening to you, it's crucial to always lock your bike, even if your workplace has security measures in place.
Tips to keep in mind while locking your bike include:
- Lock your bike to an object that cannot be moved
- Research bike locks
- Remove bike accessories that are not locked on
Investing in a sturdy lock and making sure to use it properly can save you the headache and expense of replacing a stolen bike. Finally, before leaving your bike unattended, always remember to double-check that it's securely locked up.
Ensuring your safety during your bike commute to work is crucial. By making proper preparations and following bike safety rules, you can minimize your risk of accidents. However, as much as we try to avoid them, accidents happen.
If you end up in a bike accident resulting from someone else's negligence, our team of experienced bike accident attorneys at May, Rammell & Wells can assist you in getting the compensation and justice you deserve.
Contact us at (208) 623-8021 or reach out to us online.