10 Bike Commuting Myths Dispelled

From my friend Alan Snel’s blog…republished from a League of American Bicyclists/Bikingbis tweet:

Busting the 10 bicycling myths:

1. I’m out of shape

– Ride an easy pace, in a few months you will be in great shape
– Ride your route on a weekend to find the easiest way to work
– You will improve your fitness level when you become a regular bike commuter

2. It takes too long

– The average commuter travels at 10 mph; the more you ride, the faster you become
– Trips of less than 3 miles will be quicker by bike
– Trips of 5 to 7 miles in urban areas take the same or less by car

3. It’s too far

– Try riding to work and taking mass transit home, then alternating the next day
– Combine riding and mass transit to shorten your route
– Ride to a coworker’s house and carpool to work

4. No bike parking

– Look around for a storage area in your building or office
– Stash your bike in a covered, secure place such as a closet or even your office
– Formally request that your employer provide bike parking or lock it up outside

5. My bike is beat up

– Tell a reputable bike shop that you are commuting and have them tune up your bike
– If you can’t maintain your bike yourself, identify bike shops near your route
– Make sure that your bike is reliable and in good working order before you ride

6. No showers

– Most commuters don’t shower at wor; ride at an easy pace to stay cool and dry
– Ride home at a fast pace if you want a workout; shower when you get there
– Health clubs offer showers; get a discounted membership for showers only

7. I have to dress up

– Keep multiple sets of clothing at work; rotate them on days you drive
– Have work clothes cleaned at nearby laundromats or dry cleaners
– Pack clothes with you and change at work; try rolling clothes instead of folding

8. It’s raining

– Fenders for your bike and raingear for your body will keep you dry
– If you are at work, take transit or carpool to get home; ride home the next day
– Take transit or drive if you don’t have the gear to ride comfortably in the rain

9. The roads aren’t safe

– Obey traffic signs, ride on the right, signal turns, and stop at lights
– Wear bright clothing
– You are at no greater risk than driving a car
– Wear a helmet everytime you ride

10. I have to run errands

– Bolt a rack to the back of your bike to add carrying capacity
– Make sure that you have a lock to secure your bike while you are in a building
– Allow extra time to get to scheduled appointments and find parking
– Encourage your employer to provide a bicycle fleet for office use

About the author

Bicycle commuter since 1989, bicycle enthusiast for 30+ years. I am a Bookmobile/Books By Mail librarian at a large library system and the proud father of two wonderful boys.