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Bike Commuting

Bike Commuting BrochureCommon Questions

How do I pick a route?

Use a local map or your current commute to find roads with lower traffic levels, wide right lanes, paved shoulders or bike lanes.

Is it safe to ride in traffic?

Bike crashes often happen to bicyclists when riding on sidewalks or not following the law. Riding on a sidewalk makes you invisible to drivers especially if you ride against traffic. Obey all traffic laws and be visible and predictable.

That's too far too ride!

Bike one way and take your bike on transit the other way. Drive to a park and ride lot or bus stop to skip troublesome areas and bike the rest.

Won't it take too much time?

Cycling can be a very efficient use of your time, especially in congested areas and for shorter commutes. Longer commutes mean saving time by not having to go to the gym that day. You also won't waste time searching for a parking space.

Can I really do this?

Ride your route on both weekends and during peak traffic periods and adjust your pace and schedule accordingly. Start slow and work up to a faster pace over time.

Clothes and Cleaning Up

Start as a fair weather commuter on your bike. Keep rain gear at work so that if there is a turn, you will have the spare (brightly colored) protection. Some Michigan city bus systems have racks for bikes to help you get out of the bad weather.

You can be both professional looking and a bicycle commuter. Many professionals in all levels of government and business bike commute. It just takes a little extra planning and adaptation. Soon, it will be a habit!

Stay Cool: Most mornings are cool enough to keep you from getting too sweaty. Also use waterproof and breathable fabrics.

Smell Fresh: Odor comes from bacteria on a dirty body. Have a kit with witch hazel, talcum powder, a washcloth, soap and deodorant in the restroom. Dry off under the hand blower if you do not have a shower near the work site. Save race speeds for the trip home!

Look good: Keep sport coats/jackets and dress shoes in the office. Bring clean shirt/slacks/skirts in your rack bag. Or bring clothes to the office on non-riding days.

Safety tips for Bike Commuters
Positioning for turns

Before a turn: scan, signal and move into your chosen lane. Ride in the right third or middle of the lane, as lane width dictates. To traverse multiple lanes, move one at a time, scanning and signaling each move.

Avoiding turn lanes

If your lane turns into a right turn only lane, change lanes before the intersection. Changing lanes too late could result in an overtaking motorist cutting you off. Maintain a constant position relative to the curb or shoulder during a turn.



Benefits of Bicycle Commuting

Bicycle commuting is a fun, healthy and low cost way to get to work, run errands and shop.

Health Benefits of regular bike commuting
Benefits for your bottom line
Beware of blind spots

Drivers do not always expect to see cyclists on the roadway. Don't ride next to other vehicles unless you're in a different lane or passing. If you can't see bus, truck or car mirrors, drivers can't see you.

SignalingHand_signals

Signal well before intersections and make sure you are in proper lane position. Left arm out and down with palm to the rear to indicate stopping; left arm out and up to turn right; left arm pointing straight out to side for left turns.

Scanning

Scan constantly to identify potential hazards in front and behind as well as to each side Scan for motorists, road conditions, pedestrians. Use a mirror on your handlebar, helmet or glasses.

Where to Park Your Bike

Look for a secure place for your bike. Bring your bike into your workspace if possible. Investigate interior storage space such as under staircases or an empty office. Use outside racks properly. Learn and practice ways and locations to safely lock your bike. Identify parking needs to your employer.

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