Bike commuting preparation

Now that the weather is fantastic and it has stopped raining daily (as soon as I hit publish on this post that will change, I am sure)- it is time for me to start the bike commuting preparation. I used to commute about 6 miles one way a few times a week. There was a sidewalk/bike trail that went from home to work. I made it my goal to get up one large, stupid hill and finally accomplished it at the end of the summer. Then my schedule changed and I moved and my work hours switched and five years passed and now I am here. And I am looking to start bike commuting again at least some of the time.

I decided I should start with internet research. And finding a map since I’m not exactly sure where all of the trails go from my current home to my place of work. I located a simple five point list of reminders about starting a bike commute route.

1- Think on two wheels- or basically plan out your route while you are sitting on the bus (or driving). The one stretch in my potential commute I’m not sure about is roughly a mile stretch. So one bus ride I watched carefully to see if I could spot a trail. Once I found it I referred to the town’s bike and walking trail map to see where it got me.

2-Map it out- That part is easy in our town. There is a published map of the various types of trails one could use on a bike or on foot!

3- Troubleshoot your route- The past few bus rides I’ve been watching how wide the shoulder is on the stretch I will have to ride on the road. The cars look fast and right now there is some construction. The other parts look as if they will be on paths which don’t allow motor vehicles.

4- Dry Run- One of my friends, Becky, was visiting and I asked her to bring her bike. Our original plan was to ride around the reservoir near my house. Instead we opted to do a dry run of my commute to see what it was like.

We started off the test run on a paved bike path.

The first part of the path is basically a sidewalk. Luckily it’s really wide so I think it is considered a multi use path.

Next stretch was a wide shouldered road which I mentioned above. This is the part I have been really hesitant about. As you can see the speed limit is 45. I thought for sure I would be scared out of my wits to have cars whizzing by me. But it wasn’t so horrible. I think I could get used to it if I just ride it on a regular basis.

This is after the road stretch and where there is a random bus stop near a field. I always imagine that this stop is somehow like platform 9  3/4- if I could only find out where the secret bus goes…

This was definitely my favorite part and even if I opt not to ride to work, I will certainly ride this magical trail (with bug spray next time!).

From here it was another 20-30 minutes of paths and bike lanes on pretty low speed roads.

5-Expand your horizons- While I am not at this point I do remember doing this five years ago when bike commuting was part of my weekly routine. Look for a new coffee shop or take a slightly different path or find an alternate route! I’m excited to get to this point again in my car less lifestyle adventure!

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