Are you ready to ride?

Infographic from Good Infographics

Here’s a handy, and rather fab, infographic that will get you ready to ride in no time.

Infographic from Good Infographics

Infographic from

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Get on ya bike and Ride2Work

Ride2Work Day celebrates cycle commuting

Do you ride to work? It’s one of the most useful aspects of being a bike rider. Commuting by bike saves money, is healthy and helps reduce congestion.

In Australia we have a Ride2Work Day, an annual event in October that encourages people to try bike commuting and focuses on the benefits of commuting by bike. It’s supported by the Bicycle Network.

I’m our workplace coordinator so it’s my job to encourage my colleagues to be part of it. It’s a good option for those who live close to our offices as we’re located right next to a cycle way that links to the east and the west, and we do have a number of bike riders who regularly commute.

I’ll write more in future posts about how our workplace has supported us as bike commuters with facilities and even bikes.

Here’s a little about the Ride2Work initiative:

The focus is on peoples main, regular transport requirement – commuting to work. 5-10km commutes via bicycle is a viable option for many people – and this number is increased if you include partial commutes (ride->public transport, drive->ride etc). However, shorter commutes, and longer ones are also encouraged, as is any cycling for transport in general.

To find out more about our Australian Ride2Work program, follow this link: Ride2Work Program – Bicycle Network.

Why have a cycling blog?

My cycling blog is called spokesandthecity.wordpress.com. When writing on Spokes and the City I think about my posts in relation to cycling, bike riding, cycling gear, cycling infrastructure lobbying for cycling facilities and lots more, hopefully.

I’m hoping to gather some other cycling enthusiasts as followers to the blog and give them some personal, anecdotal story on blogging, something informative and something interesting on the many, many topics related to cycling and cyclists.

I started blogging at the beginning of 2012. I made a little start last year but didn’t get back to it until this year. I’d been thinking about it for a while and thinking about what I wanted to blog and why I wanted to blog. I didn’t really have answers for all these questions when I started but I decided it was better to just start and work it out as I go.

I see my blogs as a work in progress as I learn the best way to write to catch people’s interest and what to share that is of interest to others. I love blogging so much more than I thought I would and have discovered it’s different to what I thought. It’s much more than just being personal – it’s sharing something that you might not get in the mainstream media or add something to your life or your interests to make it of interest to others. It’s definitely finding the time to blog and also finding good, legal, images to go with my blog posts.

6 Lame Excuses for Not Becoming a Bike Commuter: TreeHugger

This post comes from the excellent Treehugger site.  This is an excerpt. Find the full story, with cool pics, and lots of other interesting stuff at 6 Lame Excuses for Not Becoming a Bike Commuter (And How to Get Over Them).

If any of these six excuses are holding you back from bike commuting, it’s time to get over it.

1. You’re carrying too much stuff.

A chic messenger bag, a high-tech pannier, or just a classic basket can help you carry everything in style, and even leave room for you to stop on the way home and pick up those last-minute groceries.

And if dropping the kids off at daycare is part of your daily routine, then bring them along on the bike: Invest in a carrier, and then unhook it and leave it at the daycare provider until you’re back to pick them up in the afternoon. They’ll be happy to skip the rush-hour traffic, too.

2. It’s raining (or hot, or humid).

We know you don’t want to show up at work looking all bedraggled from a commute in wet weather, or from biking through humid city streets on the steamiest summer mornings.

But this problem is easily fixed with a few simple adjustments: First, you need the right gear. Look for breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics that won’t leave you soaked (or smelly), and durable, waterproof jackets that will keep most of the water away (like Runshade shirts from Patagonia and the Lightbeam hoodie from Nau).

It’s also a good idea to stash a change of clothes at your desk (or in your gym locker, if that’s nearby) for days when you didn’t check the weather before leaving the house — and toss in an extra stick of deodorant and a hairbrush for everyday use.

3. It’s snowing.

While winter cycling brings up some of the same issues as wet- or hot-weather riding (like wearing something that you can change out of when you get to work so you don’t end up in those ice-crusted pants at your 9 a.m. meeting), it also offers challenges that are all its own.

You need riding gear that’s warm but still breathable — check your local fitness store for cold-weather workout options — and a bike that can take on salty, icy, snowy streets (a mountain bike is often better than a road bike in these situations).

4. You don’t want helmet hair.

No one wants to have helmet hair at work, but there are ways you can deal with it. There’s the $470 collar helmet from Hovding, which only inflates on impact, but you can also try a low-maintenance hairstyle; keep a stash of products at your office; or plan to hit the gym and shower after the commute but before going into work.

5. It takes too long.

Depending on where you live (think bumper-to-bumper traffic, extra time needed to find a parking spot), cycling usually takes longer than driving. It may take longer than public transportation, too, but that depends on how close you live to the bus or train station and how reliable your city’s service is.

The physical side of things also means you can cut down (or totally eliminate) your daily card sessions at the gym. Just imagine: Instead of going from a stuffy office to a boring treadmill, you could let the fresh air and sunshine rejuvenate your spirit. Doesn’t that sound a lot better?

6. You’re scared of traffic.

Taking the proper safety precautions — like using signals and lights, riding in bike lanes, and following the traffic laws — lets drivers know where you are and what you’re doing, and that makes them able to give you the space you need to ride safely.

This is also the kind of fear that only goes away with plenty of practice — so look over these 10 tips for cycling with traffic, study up on the rules of the road, buckle your helmet and get out there. You’ll be so glad to be no longer stuck in those morning traffic jams that you’ll be more confident in no time.

My cycling journey

I love bike riding. It’s only in recent years that I’ve discovered just how much I like to ride my bike. Like most of us, I had a few bikes while I was growing up but I didn’t live in a suburb that was particularly bike friendly – think busy roads, hills and no bike paths in the park. Some years ago I bought a house near a cycle way and everything changed. I discovered how enjoyable (and safe) it could be to ride a bike in a big city. Then I got a job near while I lived that was accessible on the bike path near my house and everything changed. I’d gone from being able to ride on weekends to being able to safely commute to work as well. I was hooked.

That was over five years ago and I still love bike riding. I’ve since had two babies and my husband and I have added a trailer to our cycling repertoire and we’re out cycling most weekends. I don’t tow the trailer, I leave that to my husband but I have panniers so I carry our food, water and other supplies on our longer rides.