bike to work day

5 Must-Haves for National Bike to Work Day

You know the benefits of biking to work, but have you got all the right equipment?

5 Must-Haves for National Bike to Work Day

Ride your bike to work, and you may actually enjoy your morning commute.

05-14-09 RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Sure, biking is a great way to cut down on carbon emissions and weight gain, and now it’s possible to get an $80 tax credit just for pedaling to work. But are you doing it?

If you’re having a hard time getting motivated, try it just for one day—like tomorrow, National Bike to Work Day. To help you get the wheels moving, we’ve compiled a list of five must-haves for every bike commuter, with a little help from the editors of Bicycling magazine, so you can save a little gas and look good doing it.

1. Commuting bike. It’s probably a given, but you’ve got to have a bicycle to commute with one. If you’re in the market for a new bike to ride to work, consider a model designed for commuting or short jaunts around town. These models are designed so you sit upright, which may not seem like a big deal, but it prevents you from going too fast and sweating too much. Shop for a bike that is lightweight (in case you need to carry it up or down stairs), that has fenders to keep mud from spraying your clothes, and that has a rack for carrying your briefcase or work bag. The Royal Dutch Gazelle Toer Populair is so chic it recently caught the eye of New York Times fashion photographers, but as trendy as Dutch bikes have become recently, “they aren’t really practical outside of flat, flat Amsterdam,” says Emily Furia, senior editor at Bicycling. If you love the look but want something more suited to a changing terrain, she recommends the Breezer Uptown 8, which Bicycling recently named an Editor’s Choice in the commuter category.

2. A good helmet. If you’re smart enough to see the advantage of bike commuting, you’ll want something protect that clever brain of yours. The Bell Citi helmet was another top pick from Bicycling because, they write, “it pairs better with khakis than Lance’s helmet,” and it comes with an optional rearview mirror and rear flashing light for enhanced safety.

3. Head and tail lights. Speaking of safety, outfitting your bike with a headlight and a flashing taillight is a good move on all fronts. Some bikes come with them installed, but if yours didn’t, Furia recommends Planet Bike Blaze 1W headlight and Planet Bike Superflash taillight, which won Bicycling’s Editor’s Choice Award last year. They allow for plenty of visibility, and you can even get a discount if you buy the pair together.


Published on: May 14, 2009

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bike commutimg to work

what is the cutoff for distance? my husband and I commute 41 miles each way with a 7am start time. i've never noticed a bike lane on I-94 either. do they sell turbo booster bikes? we ride together in a G-6, good enough!

Picking a Bike for Commuting

The recommendations for picking a bike for commuting are totally unrealistic for my commute - 24 miles from Northern Virginia to downtown DC. There is no way to bicycle from Spring Equinox to Autumn Equinox without sweating in an area that the British consider a "tropical" posting for diplomats. You've got to have somewhere to shower when you arrive at work; therefore, there is no reason to pick an "upright" bike to keep speed down. Do that and it will take over 2 hours to make the trip home, climbing up the western bank of the Potomac and up to the overpass on I-66.

Also, there was no mention of tires. After you have checked out your route, you need to select tires that are as narrow as possible (if you have a commute of over an hour), so that you can go as fast as possible when it is safe to do so. Of course the tires need to be as puncture resistant as possible with full sidewall to sidewall protection made of Kevlar or maybe Aramid or Panaracer's new ProTex Shield. As for size, everyone I saw last night west of Arlington was riding on tires about 23C wide, give or take about 2C, just like the ones I have.

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