By: Sandy Beech

Ever since I was a little kid and my dad first launched me down the street I have to confess, I love to ride bikes. There is just something about doing it yourself that makes all the difference. 

If you travel by bicycle within city limits (large city or small city) you probably hope, or have hoped that the city’s planners would have sought bike rider input for the purposes of transportation planning.

Most city government update transportation plans on a regular basis. These plans determine project and policy priorities in the future and ultimately shape the experience of all those travel through the city, whether by bicycle, automobile, bus, or on foot.

Most cities have continuing efforts in play for gathering information to inform the transportation plan update.  They would like to know how people feel about biking in their cities streets today, under a variety of roadway conditions.”

When you go out biking (whether to and from work or not), there are a variety of issues that you need to think through.  Here are some things to consider:

  • WEAR A HELMET
  • WEAR THE RIGHT CLOTHING AND MAKING SURE YOU ARE SEEN
  • KNOW THE RULES OF THE ROAD
  • MAP OUT YOUR ROUTE AN ALTERNATES
  • MAKE SURE YOUR BIKE IS PROPERLY MAINTAINED
    • TIRES, TUBES AND AIR PRESSURE
    • BRAKES
    • SEAT
    • HANDLEBARS
    • LIGHTS
  • LOCK

There are many benefits that come from biking. First you can really go pretty fast.  On average about 12 miles per hour (or just over 19 kmh).  That means you go about a mile every five minutes.  So a 4 mile commute should take 20 minutes or so.  Unless you are a true enthusiast you probably don’t want to ride to much further.  If you feel you can go over 30 minutes or closer to an hour there are other things to consider beyond the weather and proper deodorant.  It is up to you, the shape you are in and your experience that will dictate the distance you are comfortable with.

Of course there are other benefits as biking is exercise you your muscle tone should improve and you should lose weight. Make sure you understand all that is involved.  While it has been suggested that cycling to work can actually be therapeutic it could also be nerve racking if your route takes you into highly congested traffic in a major city.  If there are established cycling routes that are safe and somewhat far from the madding crowd you may just find cycling a fabulous way to start and end your work day.