Tips for Bicycle Commuting Year-Round

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:

    1. Buy a helmet you like: Buying a helmet I liked made me more likely to wear it.
    2. Get a good lock: Similar to a helmet, getting one I like made me more likely to use it. I like this Kryptonite lock.
    3. Use a tail light: A tail light – just a solid or blinking red light – is essential. They cost about $5.00. Some are rechargeable.
    4. 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.
    5. 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).
    6. 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.

The following two tabs change content below.
Joshua M. Rosenberg is a Ph.D. student in the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology program at Michigan State University. In his research, Joshua focuses on how social and cultural factors affect teaching and learning with technologies, in order to better understand and design learning environments that support learning for all students. Joshua currently serves as the associate chair for the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) Special Interest Group in the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education. Joshua was previously a high school science teacher, and holds degrees in education (M.A.) and biology (B.S.).