Know anyone who has expressed an interest in giving bicycle commuting a try? Many of us have talked to someone who wants to do it but doesn’t really know where to begin. Well, here are a couple Internet resources (besides OUR fine site!) you can point them to. The following sites are generally designed for and aimed at beginners, although a couple of them offer information that will be useful for even the most seasoned, long-time commuter.
I’ll start with my favorite — the excellent site put together by Paul Dorn. This site has something for everyone, novices and pros alike. It is clearly divided into major categories and is well-written.
Paul also writes an excellent blog that highlights bicycle commuting news from around the U.S. and beyond.
This site, despite its lofty title, primarily serves as an online ride calendar (that isn’t updated very often). Still, there are quite a few tidbits hidden around the site for the beginning commuter. One tidbit I discovered during a recent visit is the table of bicycle fatalities by state, compiled in 2004 by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration‘s Center for Statistics and Analysis. The top ten most fatal states (per one million population) are Florida at number one (boo!!!), Nevada, Hawaii, Washington D.C., South Carolina, Arizona, Puerto Rico, Delaware, North Dakota and California finishing out at number 10.
This website is chock-full of statistical information, image libraries, engineering considerations and many other resources. This site is also very popular with transportation planners who are hoping to include pedestrians and bicycles into their urban plans…our local bicycle/pedestrian planners are actually the ones who turned me onto this site!! Plenty of information is geared at beginners, and even more is available to the advanced commuter or active commuting advocate.
Check these sites out — you may learn something new, and you will certainly be able to point someone in the right direction if you’re ever asked “how do I get started commuting by bicycle?”
As always, if there are other sites you could recommend to beginners, please let us know about them and we may include them in future articles.