National Bike Month: Overcoming 10 Commuting Concerns
by Lily Lowder
May 10, 2021
Commuting to work by bike is fun and healthy! Follow these tips to improve your comfort on the road. Source: SA BCycle
The San Antonio region is experiencing a renaissance of active transportation usage. Since 2020, bike sales have been at an all-time high and on-street bicycle and trail usage has been increasing. This Bike Month, continue the momentum by cycling to work, restaurants, and anywhere else!
Here are ten common concerns about bicycle commuting – and solutions.
1. I’m Out of Shape
It can be difficult to hop on a bike after a long time. The good news is, bicycling can improve your health and fitness!
- Start off with short rides to build up your endurance and begin your rides at an easy pace.
- Ride your route on a weekend so you can find the easiest way to get to work, while measuring your comfort level with the distance.
2. It Takes Too Long
For short trips, bicycling can often be faster and more convenient than driving. (No need to get your car out of the garage! No searching or paying for parking!) If you have a long trip, bicycling may be longer, but these tips can help.
- The average bicycle commuter travels at 10 miles per hour. The more you ride, the faster you’ll get so don’t be discouraged!
- Be flexible. Plan to bike to work 1 or more days a week so you can work it into your schedule.
- Driving is often wasted time. Cycling to work eliminates the need to exercise or go to the gym so consider the time spent successful multitasking.
3. It’s Too Far
In addition to following the above tips, a long commute may benefit from combining cycling with another mode for a multimodal trip.
- Try riding your bike to work and taking the bus home. Then, alternate the next day – taking the bus to work and riding your bike home.
- Combine riding your bike with taking the bus to shorten your commute. All VIA Metropolitan Transit buses are capable of carrying 2-3 bike racks!
- Ride your bike to a coworker’s house, then carpool to work. Need to find a carpool partner? Visit Alamo Commutes.
- Try an electric or pedal-assist bicycle that can ease the rigor of your ride. Purchase an e-bike or rent one through San
If you decide to combine your bicycle commute with transit or carpooling, be sure to record it in Alamo Commutes as a multimodal trip!
4. There’s No Bike Parking
You’ve made it to work – congrats! But what should you do if there’s no bicycle parking at your work place?
- Look for an indoor storage area such as a closet or even your office.
- Formally request that your employer provide bicycle parking outside.
Don’t forget to properly lock up your bike!
5. My Bike is Old
If your bike is older, don’t despair!
- If you live downtown, opt for a San Antonio Bike Share Annual Membership. Avoid the hassle and stress of bicycle maintenance and enjoy the ease of a pedal-assist bike.
- Visit a bicycle shop for a diagnostic and make sure you continue to bring it in for regular tune-ups.
- Pack an emergency repair kit including a spare tube and patch kit, tire levers, bike pump, and multi-tool.
6. My Work Doesn’t Have Showers
Most bicycle commuters don’t shower at work, but here are some recommendations on how you can stay clean and fresh during your ride.
- Pedal to work at an easy pace to stay cool and dry. Ride home at a fast pace if you want a workout.
- Leave wet wipes and other toiletries at your desk to wipe off sweat. Leave an emergency set of clothes at work for special days.
- Try an electric bike, also known as an e-bike, for a breezy commute.
7. I Have to Dress Up
Just because you have to dress up for work doesn’t mean that you can’t commute by bike! In addition to the recommendations for a lengthy commute or lack of showers, consider these options.
- Keep multiple sets of clothing at work. Rotate them on days you drive to work.
- Have work clothes cleaned at a nearby dry cleaner.
- Try commuting on a step-through bike and wear a dress or skirt as you ride.
8. I’m Worried About Bad Weather
If you’re concerned about commuting in the rain:
- Purchase fenders for your bike and rain gear for your body.
- Take transit or carpool into work on rainy days. If it rains while you’re at work, use another mode and ride your bike home the next day.
- For unexpected inclement weather – and no other transportation options – take advantage of Alamo Commutes Emergency Ride Home program.
If you’re concerned about cycling in the heat:
- Ride early in the morning or late in the day when temperatures are the coolest.
- Protect yourself by wearing sunscreen and staying hydrated.
- Plan ahead by selecting routes that offer more shade.
9. The Roads Don’t Feel Safe
Safety on the roads is an important component of any commute. Follow these tips to improve your safety and comfort while on two wheels.
- Follow the rules of the road. Obey traffic signs; ride with traffic; signal for turns; and stop at lights.
- Gear up. Use bike lights, wear bright or reflective clothing, and wear a helmet every time you ride.
- When possible, use off-street trails to reduce potential conflicts with cars. Just be mindful of when each trail’s hours of operation.
- Sign up for a Street Skills bicycle safety class with AAMPO to boost your on-street confidence.
10. I Need to Run Errands
Make your bike work for you! Use your bicycle to commute to work and run errands.
- Add a basket, panniers, or other storage option to your bicycle to increase your 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.
If you have any questions about how you can commute by bike, email Lily Lowder at email@example.com.