I’m in the middle of this 100 day marketing course by the amazing Seth Godin. Once of the most valuable parts of this course (to me) is that there’s a really active discussion forum where we each discuss our businesses and marking challenges.
And as Seth keeps reminding us – there is more value in helping someone else than in talking about yourself. #lifelessons
One of my new online friends is building a concept around inspiring people to try bicycle commuting. I was so enthralled with this concept that we’ve been having a great discussion around it, and how he might set it up.
You may already know this, but I am a bicycle commuter. I’ve posted videos in past of my grocery trips by bicycle. I shifted from driver to cyclist back in 2002, when I was in University and the car my parents had lent me was dying.
After researching all of the costs involved in buying used or leasing a car, with all of the insurance and maintenance costs, I realized that I couldn’t afford it. So I started looking into bikes, and bought the most expensive thing I’d ever bought to that point: a $350 bicycle.
Trouble was – when I had a choice to drive, I couldn’t get up the energy/courage/motivation to cycle.
It took me finally taking the old car to the scrap yard, and cycling off into the sunset, to finally commit to bicycle commuting. But once I did, I never looked back! I LOVE it.
In the 15 years since, I’ve managed to consciously choose to live in a downtown area where I can walk, cycle and take public transit. It is glorious.
If you’ve been considering bicycle commuting, I want to share some of the reasons I LOVE it, and some of the tips and gear I’ve found really useful in maintaining cycle-commuter status for the long term.
And if you’re having trouble making the change while you still have a car, I hear ya… it is tough. Maybe something in my lists or video will help inspire you to start!
Why I LOVE bicycle commuting:
- Way cheaper than a car (to buy AND maintain)
- Using muscles/burning calories instead of burning gasoline
- Fix my own flat tires
- Bypass traffic gridlock
- Cool factor/determination
- Cycle commuting community
Bicycle commuting tips:
- Follow the rules of the road
- Give yourself space, don’t hug right to the curb
- Signal early
- Wear a helmet!
- Try clip shoes to boost efficiency (unless you’re uncoordinated… To my Mom: please never wear clip shoes!)
- Learn some basic maintenance
- Always carry a spare tube, small pump and tools with you
- Rain gear!
- Get really good lights
- Always wear sunglasses for eye protection (I have some darker and some lighter ones, in case it’s not sunny)
- If you worry about getting tired/sweaty, try an electric assist
Bicycle commuting gear:
- Front light
- Rear light with indicators and laser “get back” zone for cars
- Arm band light
- Helmet mirror
- Inflatable helmet
- Pannier bag
- Mini bungees (for holding bags of lettuce on the back carrier)
- Light sunglasses
- Multi tool
- Tire levers
- Rhinodillos (to prevent flat tires)
- Mini pump + Patch kit
Bicycle commuting clothing:
- Cycle leggings
- Clip shoes (need cleats and pedals, below)
- Clip pedals + cleats (need these for clip shoes)
- UV blocking shirt
- Rain jacket + pants
- Rain shoe covers
- Rain helmet cover
- Paddling Gloves (great for cold rainy days)
- Bike Gloves (3/4 fingers, for padding)
- Eco Baby Wipes (for those who don’t have a shower)
Note for Canadians: Most of my bicycle commuting gear I got from MEC. Check them out for a lot of this stuff if you have a store near you!
Amazon Associates Disclosure: Heather Nicholds is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.