Written by: Josh Rosenberg
Primary Source: Joshua M. Rosenberg, February 4, 2016
I started biking to campus last summer. Since then, on-and-off, I started transitioning to commuting by bike more.
Along the way, I learned a few things and wanted to share a few tips for bike commuting year-round:
- Buy a helmet you like: Buying a helmet I liked made me more likely to wear it.
- Get a good lock: Similar to a helmet, getting one I like made me more likely to use it. I like this Kryptonite lock.
- Use a tail light: A tail light – just a solid or blinking red light – is essential. They cost about $5.00. Some are rechargeable.
- Use a head light: Not necessary, but helpful for biking when it’s getting dark (or even when it’s dark). Choose one that’s USB- rechargeable, because these can use batteries quickly.
- Put on fenders: I didn’t think these were important before, but having my bag and clothes get muddy a few times changed my mind. Something I learned about fenders is they’re almost impossible to install perfectly. They may be a bit crooked and might not look great, but they should keep you dry(er).
- Get the right tires
: Using nobby, mountain bike tires can be essential when it’s icy or even a bit slushy. I like BikeTiresDirect because you can tell them what bike you have and request a recommendation.
Since I live in Mid-Michigan and it’s cold for much of the year, I bike with shell gloves and a hat (and balaclava), but those are obvious. Some folks bring tire pumps and a spare tire and a mini-tool. Something else that a lot of people think is helpful is a rack, but I found it easier to just use a bag or backpack. Still other folks use a trip computer, which I like, but don’t think is necessary.