With Covid-19 changing up the way we live our daily lives, there has been an increase in the amount of people buying bikes as ways to exercise but also for bike commuting options. I have been commuting by bike for a few years now and one of the things I have to say is that it is a great option/healthy way to get in a quick workout but also sometimes easier than driving to work because of the traffic. For those who will be new to commuting by bike to work or are new to cycling in general, I wanted to point out some important information for you/items to make sure you have.
A helmet. Please make sure you are wearing helmets. They are so important and critical. Make sure your helmet has vents, because you don't want to overheat and make sure it is certified. My favorite helmet currently because of comfort and ventilation is the Bontrager Specter WaveCel Cycling Helmet. It comes in at $149 but when it comes to protecting the brain, I am all for it. The Boa fit system is the best because it adjusts super well to the size of your head, the helmet is moisture wicking and the Fidlock magnetic buckle its just super nice and secure.
Bike lights. If you are biking on the roads or in a city, you need to have lights. Reflectors are fine, but if you have a bright red light on the back of your frame and a bright white light up front, it's hard not to be noticed. I love Light and Motion Urban 1000 Commuter because it has very high lumens, you have high visibility and it has a rechargeable battery. Mounting it is also super easy and effective with durable rubber straps. At $139 for the combo front and back, you can't beat this option.
Follow the rules of the road. I can't tell you how upset it makes me when I see people running red lights. I always try and follow the rules, riding on the side, signaling when I'm turning, stopping at red lights and stop signs, etc. I was almost hit by a cab commuting to work because he decided to try and run a red light while I was sitting waiting for the light to turn. Whenever I commute I follow the rules that cars do and so should other cyclists. But I will say that when there is traffic, it is nice to roll by cars on the side of the road because I don't use up as much space.
Reflective and bright clothes. If you are bright, you can be seen by an oncoming car. I try to wear clothes and reflective gear when I commute or ride so that any car can see me on the roads. There are many brands out there that make reflective clothes and bags so if you are commuting to work, purchase a bag that has reflective piping or a jacket. It just makes is safer when the sun starts to set earlier.
Tool Kit. One of the first things I did when I started riding bikes, was to go to my LBS and ask them to show me how to replace a flat tire. I highly recommend everyone do this because at one point in time, you will get a flat, and you will need to know how to fix it. Getting a tool kit to carry on the stem of your bike will be a lifesaver when you need to replace a tube, patch a hole or inflate said tube. Make sure you get one that can fit all the items you need to change a flat because they make super small, medium and larger bags. I use a Silca Seat Premio because I found it to be a good size, water resistant, sleek and can fit everything that I need. It fits right under the saddle and rolls up/locks into place with ease. NO VELCRO. They make other items as well, but I found the 3 internal pockets for storing items to be the best. Plus at $49, it's not that pricey.
At the end of the day, I love bike riding. It has been my go to outlet for working out during this pandemic because it feels freeing to go out for a bike ride. Sort of like childhood when you rode bikes around the neighborhood. Just a fun way to get outside. I also love commuting by bike because that way i'm not stuck in traffic for 30 minutes, using up gas or in a crammed metro train. I have a feeling that commuting by bike will increase when more people go back to work because they don't want to risk catching Covid by being in crammed spaces. Plus biking through D.C. is always a good time, just be careful of the drivers out there.