Beginner's Guide to Bike Commuting

Beginner's Guide to Bike Commuting



ah you smell that that's the smell of May and may is Bike Month which also means that's the smell of a missed opportunity that I could have taken in order to make more videos about Bike Month but why is May Bike Month you may be asking well may is Bike Month because an organization called may is Bike Month says so with a lot of bike activities happening like National Bike to Work Day Bike Month and some are just right around the corner a lot of people are mounting up and getting on their bikes and now this time of year is perfect for starting to commute to work via bike as someone who loves bikes too much to drive for transportation yeah it's totally or not because I'm broke I've learned quite a few things about committing by bike over the years I present you the beginner's guide for commuting by bike we're going to take a look at three main points for starting to commute by bike today and the first thing is planning the second thing is the gear that you need and the third thing is a few tips about commuting by bike first planning make sure that your round trip distance is doable for your fitness level and is doable for the amount of time that you're willing to put into log in miles usually an appropriate commuting time is about 30 minutes or less each way but if you're willing to commit more time and more of your energy into commuting then by all means go for it so before you go out gung ho commuting please do make sure that the distance that you'll be riding is doable for your fitness level next also make sure that you can community Qin see each week when I started commuting by bike I only commuted once per week every Wednesday then I started riding every Monday and Wednesday and eventually every Monday Wednesday and Friday and eventually I started commuting by bike every weekday so my recommendation for you from experience is to just start with a small commitment and start commuting to where you need to go once per week and after you build up that confidence and build up the fitness level in order to commute more via bike add more days to your week that you can dedicate to doing so the third thing that you need to plan is your route know the route in your head before you leave for your commute this Mises the possibility of something dumb happening like getting lost choose routes that have the least traffic and that are the most bike-friendly now Google Maps is getting better at giving you navigation routes that are pretty bike friendly but honestly it still kind of sucks with experience you'll optimize the best routes for commutes find better side streets alleyways and bike paths that have the least traffic and also finds the best times for commuting in your area probably the best way to plan your route is to do a dry run on the weekend and see what you can improve upon before your first commute another thing to keep in mind is the time that it will take for your entire commute this includes the prep time for your commute actually doing your commute and B cleanup time for your commute because biking is quite a sweaty activity and if you're commuting and going into work I would guess that you want to look pro fashion all professional don't want your kid to work that's your job the second thing that you'll need to consider if you are a new commuter is the gear that you'll need now there's three sections of gear that you need so first is the absolute bare-bones gear that you need in order to commute to work second is strongly recommended gear that will make your commute more comfortable and safer and third is what I call the commuters luxuries stuff that you don't necessarily need but it is nice to have now there's two things in the bare-bones level of commuting gear and of course that is a bicycle that is in good functioning order one that won't break down on you on your commute and second is a helmet in order to protect your one and only noggin now the second type of gear is strongly recommended and will help you on your commute this includes two good bike locks unless you can bring your bike into your workplace a headlight and taillight a patch kit spare tube a pump deodorant an extra set of non sweaty clothes a phone and a backpack to carry all your gear also some snacks because those are pretty nice all of the gear here will keep you more comfortable more visible and more prepared for any dumb things that might happen and the third type of gear are the commuters and luxuries this includes racks and panniers that keep the weight off of your back which reduces back sweat again bicycling is quite a sweaty activity as I'm sweating here under the lights and of course you could also buy a full cycling kit cycling kit untold is better fitting for riding which means you have less chafing and also it's more breathable again less sweating and the third thing to consider is actually riding your commute now here we have some tips to help you do sale now actually riding your commute boils down to just doing it and not being an idiot my advice for new riders is to use the road as a car would use the road use the bike lane if one is available but if there's no bike lane don't be afraid to use the full lane because at least I know as far as I know in the state of California it is law that a cyclist is allowed to use the full lane this increases the visibility and discourages drivers for making unsafe passes although some people in California do not understand that this is the law and believe that bikes are just for children and sidewalks so you may experience an increased number of honking but if they're honking that means they see you which means you're safe the more that you ride with traffic the more comfortable that you'll get commuting and you'll see that riding a bike isn't nearly as dangerous as people think so use your noggin keep your wits about you be aware of your surroundings be visible and be predictable for traffic and you should be pretty safe and be pretty comfortable riding in the streets so today we looked at the importance of planning your commute the gear that you will need for your commute and some helpful tips for staying safe while you commute now this video is just the beginner guide to commuting you can find more comprehensive guides in the description if you're interested in this topic now for all of you veteran bike commuters out there let me ask you this what is the number of miles that you log in every week commuting to and from school or work and number two what is the most valuable tip that you have learned through experience that you can pass on to our new commuters here leave your miles and your tips in the comments below and ride safely out there and I'll see you guys in our Wednesday vlog

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  1. I just started a 3-day a week job with 12 hour shifts that is 20 miles away. There's a dirt and gravel path that I took the first time that saved 2 miles, but I have a road bike with 23mm tires so it took me longer than the GPS predicted. I'm looking at 120 miles a week with a heavy backpack. Definitely going to need to get some storage mods on my bike, along with a kit cause my biking underwear isn't going to cut it long term.

  2. 120 miles in a 4 day work week. I live in Illinois, where the weather is very unpredictable, so be prepared for anything depending on where you live. Respect the other commuters and they will get used to seeing you everyday and give you respect. And finally, just have fun!!!

  3. I commute 40 miles a week to work, and do hard physical labor at the job. At first it was literal hell, but now I’m getting over the hump. 45 years young. If you have hills get a mid drive motor 350 watt minimum. I also had to buy a very loud horn, one of those airzounds. Cars will try to jump out on you at cross streets. One woman mistook my left turn hand signal for pull out and hit me whilst I turn in the intersection. Now I use the horn, 2 quick bursts and people stay where they are. So if your riding down the street and a car pulls up at the stop sign I hit the horn and wave friendly at them. Then they loose the chance to pull out on top of me! The horn is the best advice I can give, use it. Bus drivers and tractor trailer drivers seem to only hear that horn. I also wear a reflective safety vest. The only mirror that worked for me was the EVT safe zone bike mirror that attaches to you helmet. I’m currently saving for a smart bike helmet that has signals built in and will alert loved ones your position if you get in a crash. I work second shift so coming home if something happens or someone hits you, you better believe they aren’t going to stop and help you for sure. You might as well curl up and prepare to die. So any kind of smart tech to help is worth it to me.
    When riding at night, don’t be a jerk to cops. When they spot you with an ebike they might clock your speed. I even had them follow my route and where I live. Remember, when something happens and your wrecked at the side of the road that is probably the first person that is going to find you. I know it sucks but it took me a while to understand that. They clock you because your not allowed over 25 mph. Anything over that on a bicycle means serious injury or death.
    If your finding yourself not able to maintain 2 vehicles, then do this. Get the bike, start training. Then take it to the dump and with that 300 bucks buy your accessories or luxury bike items. If you don’t do this you will still use your car. Sometimes you need to create a “call to action!” for dreams to come to fruition.
    I’m actually GLAD this happened to me. Now that I’m over the hump, I feel top notch again, I’m at work and I feel turbo charged, especially that hour before I have to get on the bike, like my body is ready for the workout. Lost my belly too! My boss tells me since this I have a better positive attitude while I’m at work. And to tell you everyday you make it there is a personal VICTORY! It could be raining cats and dogs, jerky people in cars making it rough. But when I pull up to the factory I feel happy, I DID It, I made it! I overcame the obstacles of this days commute!
    This is one of the rare instances in my life where something that appeared to be horribly bad happening to me, turned out to be a blessing in my favor. Ditch that money pit car and DO IT!!

  4. 30 miles a day X 5 days = 150 miles for work, not including riding with buddies after work, on a Fuji Track fixed gear 48/16.

    My job, at the time, was in a warehouse .. sweat wasn't a problem so I showed up in whatever was comfortable. I carried a cheap bike lock that would eventually lead to my bike being stolen and a water bottle on the bike with a sling bag for other goodies like a tube, pump and a 15 mm small wrench. The small wrench was convenient and handy to not over-tighten the bolts as I tend to give it too much sometimes, no need for the tire wedges .. I figured out how to change a 25C tire bare-handed. The best thing you can have is a small sling bag, you can't fit much in it so you can't hurt your back, they are light and most of them fit in your pocket when empty and folded. Get a legit lock and take anything off you don't want stolen (stem/bars/front wheel/seat/post) if you are in a high-crime area, or bring it inside. Now, I'm using a front-mounted rack for my gear to allow for more airflow over my body to reduce sweat since the new job is in an office. I'm using a slightly larger sling bag that can carry "sports" equipment, this way I know it can handle shoes, shirts and pants to change into. Just throw the bag on the rack (I couldn't put a basket on it) and off I go.

    My best advice for someone starting to ride a bike, fixed or not, for transport to do it with friends. I'll ride for hours with friends after work, after riding 30 miles just for work. That is how we "hung out", we'd go around the neighborhood, the block, the bar and anywhere else. We rode everyday.

    If you have a geared bike you'll probably have more options than that of a fixed gear, I just won't know any of them.

  5. My town is built on a plateau, so getting everywhere on bike is easy. But SOMEBODY decided to build my college on the top of a hill. So… yeehaw?

  6. Step One: Ride your bike from point A to point B
    Step Two: Adapt

    That's it. Saved you seven minutes.

  7. My list of advises (paid off in doing 185 – 210km commuting per week in any wind and weather on Melbourne roads),
    1. start on weekends to get fit, try to push as much as possible. Also in bad weather, you'll realize, you won't die.
    2. Check if you can ride on streets or you have to use gravel tracks for your commute, based on that you decide the bike
    3. don't buy the fanciest bike for lots of $$$$, buy something good, durable, you anyway have to swap parts over the next months
    4. Get a backpack (buy one with raincover or rainsave already), into the backpack add sunscreen, dry socks and undies, Headlight (fixing bike in winter), Raingear
    5. Get 2 proper bikelocks (at least sold secure silver), but different ones (chain and D-Lock), possibility is given that thief has not all tools for different locks (except angle grinder)
    6. get a pair of click pedals like the PD-M324 and comfy shoes like the Northwave Escape EVO
    7. get onion layer clothing, to remove or add layer by layer, if possible fast drying or Gore-Tex
    8. depending where you live get a helmet
    9. get a pair of dashcams like the cycliq Fly12 and Fly6
    10. If you get a Flat-Bar road bike (none needs a dropdown to communte) get Bull horns and I would advise an Aerobar (saves so much time and energy)
    11. Get a repair bag under the saddle (should contain 2 tubes) and tools and don't forget the pump and water bottle and its holder
    12. Try to get more people on the bike. There's nothing healthier than cycling.

  8. I ride my trusted Mule every day to work, which is about 25 miles round trip. My best tip is the think of the alternatives. By car, you got the tolls and parking headaches. By public transit you pay 2.75 for poor service and will raise your blood pressure when trains or buses are running late. Thinking about that riding from Queens to the North Bronx is a pleasure.

  9. There’s so mething I’ve always wondered about people who only use bikes. You moved from another city to a new one far away, right? How often do you go back to see your family? It’s a frequency that allows you to rent a car or fly im assuming? It would be super ideal to only use a bike if living near all of your loved ones, but I live in Nee England which I don’t particularly find to be super well set up for bikes, and I have family an hour away here, most of my relatives three hours away there, etc. everything’s so spread out, so it’s really cool to see this lifestyle! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Where I live, the sidewalk stays completely empty pretty much all the time. So when I see a biker backing up traffic for a half a mile going 20 mph when the speed limit is 45 and there's a perfectly good sidewalk right next to them, I get a strong urge to step on the gas and plow them over. But jail doesn't seem fun. So I won't. But to all the bikers that do this, fuck you.

  11. I ride to work in melb aus daily, num 1 tip is don't get agro when drivers do dumb shit, learn to laugh and maybe ridicule them with rapier like sarcasm instead of ranting. Stress is a killer. Most people dont care anyway so if u can make them feel dumb its something other than yelling which is nothing

  12. I recently switched to biking to do my daily errands and I love it. My quads dont because they're sore though haha.

  13. I average 25 – 40Km. And communication is key, make eye contact with other road users, signal and be as predictable as possible

  14. Bicycling the Dutch way…

    1. Buy a reasonable Dutch bicycle for about $400, or a reasonable second hand for about $100. And, yes, you can always spent more money (my dream bicycle cost about $3500 and weighs about 25kg, about 55 pounds) 
    Dutch bicycles require very little maintenance. More expensive bicycles less so.
    Dutch bicycles are standard equiped with an integrated lock, lights, a bell, a closed chain case, front and back mud protection, and a carrier. No need to buy additional equipement or special clothing.

    2. Put, whatever you want to take with you on either the back carrier and/or the front carrier.

    3. If you are less than about 15km from your commuting destination you don't have to sweat. Just relax, follow the bicycle specific destination signs, and enjoy your ride on mostly separated bicycle lanes with mostly priority over other traffic.  

    Here is our prime minister going to work, see:
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C6-Ti9KWYAAovPq.jpg
    The bicycle he is driving is a very common commuter bicycle, and about worth $200. Though he recently upgraded to a more sporty bicycle about worth $1500. See:
    https://images.gscdn.nl/image/ee4af5e9a2_ANP-53698633.jpg?txt=%C2%A9ANP&txtalign=bottom%2Cright&txtclr=%23FFFFFF&txtshad=10&w=600&s=6c03cbfd02b898387a6472ea06e6f000
    In this last picture he is arriving at our king's palace for an official meeting.

    Yes, we have a human centric society contradicting your car centric society.

  15. I commute 24 Km per day and watch out for buses as they are the most dangerous and the too drive in the side of the lanes.

  16. Do also mind not to take too much, you can have a lot of gear and tools but that's going to get heavy
    Edit: I plan on doing 64 – 96 km per week

  17. 40 miles including ferry, 17.6 miles excluding ferry distance. I commute twice a week to school.

    Make sure to enjoy the commute, you will feel energized afterwards ready to work/study.

  18. About 20 miles a week. I also advise acting like a car. Weaving back and forth between the sidewalk and street based on which you believe to be the "safest" for that given stretch will actually make you more unpredictable for the other drivers. Also, I view a bike rack as an essential, especially in a place like Houston.

  19. I average about 100 miles per week.
    tip 0: stay away from the door zone, especially when riding fast. Take the lane and be visible day and night (like a car).
    tip 1: add glasses to your kit, protect yourself from bugs in your eye
    tip 2: include a water bottle in your kit, stay hydrated
    tip 3: take always money with you so that you can opt for bus or cab when you are having a mechanical or rain is pouring. In an urban envirnonment, you have a load of options, use always the smartest
    tip 4: when you have no shower but want to get rid of sweat, use baby wipes before changing in your clean shirt
    tip 5: when you don´t want to get sweaty, just ride no faster than 10-12 miles per hour when riding flat areas. That´s the speed the dutch ride in everyday clothing.
    tip 6: if you ride fast, add gloves to your kit. When you fall, you will fall on your hands and hands with road rash are no fun.
    tip 7: in case of immediate crash, do not ring the bell, just scream as loud as you can. It works great and you have a firm grip on your steering.
    tip 8: be courteous to other members in traffic, you may get a smile and wave back, it´s worth it.
    tip 9: Clean your bike every 250 miles, degrease and grease your chain, consider buying a bike multitool

  20. I don't conmute very often, but i suggest wearing a reflective jacket/vest. It's mandatory for law here in Chile

  21. I commute ~30 mi in a given week. Besides this guy's good instructions, I recommend a small car-strength decibel bike horn + a more friendly bell. The horn is for "watch out!!!" and bell is for "please excuse me, I'm right here"

  22. 15 mile commute. Keep your tires inflated to reccomended psi for the tire and clean and lube your chain.
    Rather than using a backpack or rack system you can get a holster type saddle bag…

  23. 90 miles a week. South Africa. Tip: when someone drives over you and you survive. Learn and don't give up.

  24. I average around 100 miles per week commuting. I've been commuting for a solid 15-20 years and my tips would be:
    #1 if you don't have access to a shower, baby wipes work decent.
    #2 Get GOOD lights – high powered good lights.
    #3 Practice fixing flats and become proficient at it, which leads us to…
    #4 Get good tires – Gatorskins, Bontrager AW3's Etc.
    #5 Don't be a slave to fashion – A geared bike is more efficient and faster than a "fixie".
    #6 Always have an extra set of socks on hand
    #7 I prefer backpacks, but either backpacks or panniers, don't skimp if you can afford the good stuff. Osprey backpacks have worked very well for me.
    #8 Always be on the lookout for different/safer/funner routes – they're out there if you look now and again.
    #9 don't ride like a D-bag! (running red lights with lots of cars around, skipping to the front of the stoplight line Etc.). A lot the same people driving cars see you each day. If you're cool, they'll respect you and your space ( as well as the other commuters like me!).
    #10 Encourage more people to commute! The more of us there are, the more it's accepted and expected, making things safer, better trail infrastructure, and generally better for all bike commuters!

  25. Planning is important, I keep a couple sets of clothes at the office. I often target commute days with food truck visits. My commute is 12 miles/way if I take the standard route. It usually takes me 40-60 minutes. I usually allow about 75 minutes to allow for cool down and clothes change. Going home I option longer rides. Things like errands, weather, or group rides on the other side of town will have me in my truck instead.

  26. About 150miles each week. And I would say just don’t assume a driver can see you. And always be on high alert you never know when you have dodge that psycho driver that wants to drive you off the dam road.

  27. I average around 70km/49miles a week on my hybrid bike.
    As a fairly new commuter myself (only 1 weeks exp as of today), I have the following advice:
    1. Get the correctly sized bike! It makes a huuuuuge difference when the bike fits you nicely. I spent hours trying out bikes in my local B.O.C before I rode one that felt perfect.
    2. If your map says it'll take you 20 mins to get to work… give yourself at least 40 mins. Depending on your starting level of fitness you may need breaks or moments to go real slow in order to recover your energy. Plus it gives you more time to recover once you've reached your destination and hopefully you're lucky enough to have a boss like mine who lets you finish early if you start early 🙂

  28. I’m in 8th grade and my school is pretty far. I ride about 10 miles a day on weekdays, and about 8 miles on weekends. I’ve been biking for about 4 years.

  29. I commute about 100 miles a week when I'm not in school (studying on the bus is a major component of my academic success). Here's what I've learned
    Tips:
    1. Ditch the clips and rock toe cages, changing shoes gets annoying.
    2. Learn basic bicycle maintenance. Change flats, derailleur adjustments, even spot truing wheels on the fly has proven very useful, and they can all be done with a pump and a good multi tool.
    3. Charge your lights every day/night if you have a night ride ahead of you.
    4. Get a rack, backsweat sucks.
    5. Chromoloy steel frame, high spoke count wheels. Much more reliable day to day commuter than a carbon road bike.

  30. 28 miles round trip to work 3 days a week. Total 84 miles/week. Tip 1. Get panniers. Tip 2. Drink water! Tip 3. Use lights always. Tip 4. Give yourself enough time for repairs Tip 5. Know your route Tip 6. Ignore idiots

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