Sometimes at Cycling in Chch we post about issues that are topical at the time, and sometimes we just like to put up “timeless” pieces that are just hopefully useful advice any time. This one (originally from Sep 2014) definitely falls in the latter category and, as we ease into another slowly-warming spring, hopefully there are a few helpful hints if you’re relatively new to the biking game…
Spring has finally made its return (well, officially at least), and for many that might mean thinking about starting (or returning to) biking to work, study, etc. We’ve posted various things over the years about cycle commuting and I thought it might be useful to collate here some quick top tips for getting the most out of your ride:
- Plan your route, and perhaps even practise it on a quiet weekend before your first “real” run. In many cases, the best route for cycling is not the same as the one you would drive.
- Keep an eye on the city rebuild roadworks via the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner for Christchurch; you might find that you have to take a temporary detour for a while.
- Keep your bike in good nick. A little bit of basic regular preventative maintenance can go a long way.
- Perhaps you’re still a “fairweather cyclist”, but if you are going to ride when it’s a bit wet or cold, make sure you’re suitably prepared clothing-wise.
- Need to carry stuff? A backpack, a basket, or a bike-rack might do the trick; if you need to take more, then a pannier or two might be a great investment.
- Follow the road rules! It’s not a good look for your fellow riders if you flout the basics about stopping and giving way.
- Keep your distance from those parked cars; otherwise they could cause you more grief than the passing cars.
- Learn how to deal with the intersections on your way, including knowing how to trigger the lights and how to turn right.
See a maintenance or safety problem on your journey? Let someone know, so that it can be fixed soon.
- Have a spare tube or repair kit handy in case you have a puncture on your way (don’t forget a mini bike-pump either!).
- If you’re going to be riding out at night, make sure that you have good lights to see and be seen (but make sure you don’t blind other people).
- Enjoy the ride! It’s a pretty great city for cycling already, and things are only going to get better…
What other tips do you have for those getting into commuting by bike?