5 ways to make cycling for transportation work for you this summer
Summer is finally here and warmer weather brings bright mornings and motivation to try something new. If you've been toying with the idea of cycling for transportation, now is the time!
We've pulled together a few handy tips to make your journey simple and enjoyable.
1. Easy does it
Pick a day that works best for you. If you're someone who feels energized after the weekend, Monday might be a good day to start. Commit to one day a week, building from there.
2. Consider your route
A little prep to plan your route before your first trip can make all the difference. Plug your destination and start point into Google Maps for a set of bike friendly routes and approximate timings. Metro Vancouver has some awesome bike infrastructure - and taking it will make your trip much more enjoyable than taking the busier streets you'd choose in a car. Visit our resources page for more information on routes and planning.
3. Watch the clock
Give yourself a little extra time on your first day. There’s lots to take in and enjoy on your new journey! However, you may soon find that you’re arriving at your destinations even earlier than you used to - cycling is often the fastest mode in urban centers, especially for trips under 5 kilometers. And while you’re riding spare a thought for people sitting in traffic as you coast over the Burrard bridge ;)
4. What to wear
You don’t need special gear or clothes to ride around the city - regular clothes work just fine for most trips. If you love wearing long flowy skirts or dresses in the summer, try the ‘penny in your pocket trick’ - this simple bike hack will keep the material clean and away from the wheels.
5. Where to park
If you're cycling to work, check with your office or building manager about the facilities available. Many workplaces have secure bike parking for keeping your two-wheeled friend safe and dry. Other options are the TransLink bike parkades available at Main Street–Science World, King Edward, Commercial–Broadway, Joyce–Collingwood, Metrotown, and King George SkyTrain stations. But if you invest in a strong U lock (never just a cable lock) you should be able to park your bike at any regular outdoor rack as well, just don't leave it overnight. Local bike stores and MEC offer a great selection to suit all budgets.
And finally, beware! Cycling is addictive. Exercising while moving around the city will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to start the day. Moreover, maintaining your bicycle all summer costs less than a monthly transit pass. With no gas or insurance to pay for, you’ll be saving every time you hop on your bike!
If you love the idea of cycling for transportation but your cycling skills need a refresher, HUB Cycling’s StreetWise cycling courses are taking place all summer long. Increase your confidence on the road in a small group led by a trained instructor. Visit https://bikehub.ca/bike-education/ride-the-road to find out more.
Written by Louise Campbell, photo by Murillo De Paula on Unsplash