Sick of cramming into trains, trams and buses? Traffic gridlocked….. car park costs going through the roof...? Want to get in shape? Many people are beginning to realise that riding to work is a great alternative.
We have hit spring in Melbourne, the weather is getting warmer and dryer and it’s light in the morning and evening again. So it's time to change things up. Swap the daily grind of the commute to work with getting on the bike, fresh air, free exercise and arriving at work feeling fresh and ready to take on the day. You'll even save some money in the process.
At La Velocita we are really excited about the upcoming Ride2Work day on 15 October 2014. If you're new to riding now is the time to start preparing for the Ride2Work. If you are a seasoned campaigner it's time to get other's involved in this awesome sport through Ride2Work and help them out with getting ready for the commute!
Bicycle Network has done a great job with getting this annual event moving. With more than 50,000 registrations it's going to be a fantastic day. To get involved all you need to do is head to Bicycle Network and register.
There are community breakfasts being held in all the major cities where you can share your experience with hundreds of other cyclists that have made the jump to a better way.
Here's what you'll need to do to make sure you have an enjoyable experience.
Bike - Of course you'll need a bike. Make sure you have got a bike lined up. You've probably got one in the shed, or you can borrow one from your bike buddies, who probably have a several spares. Make sure you get it checked over for safety and check that it is the right size and the tyres are pumped up nice and hard. Contact your local bike shop if you need a hand to check it over.
Practice run - If you have not been on the bike for a while find a safe environment to have a spin and get the skills back and make sure the bike set up is right for you.
Research - You probably know a few people who ride to work, ask them for some tips and tricks. Check with your work where you can store your bike, also ask if there are change facilities available and somewhere to store some clothes.
Check out your route - The way you drive to work is unlikely to be the best way to ride. Check for back streets and bike paths. It's worth getting out on the weekend to check the route you've chosen. If it's too far to ride all the way there are other ways of getting involved. Drive then ride, or ride to the station. Check out the links below for options for the Ride2Work.
- Google maps - Choose 'bike' when entering start and end point.
- Ride the City - Available for the major centres - La velocita chooses 'safest route'.
Fitness - You don't need to be Cadel Evans to ride to work, just about anyone can do it. Just set a pace that is comfortable and you'll be fine. The more you ride, the more you'll enjoy the increased fitness and health benefits.
Riding in traffic - Bicycle Network recommends:
- Common sense: Bicycles are recognised as vehicles and must follow the rules of the road. Riding on the left, obeying traffic signals and using hand signals before turning right are all essential for reducing risk.
- Courtesy: Be assertive but considerate by knowing the road rules and acting on them. If you make eye contact with motorists you can be more confident that they’ve seen you.
- Caution: Find a low risk route – try quieter streets or off-road bike paths. Ride predictably and leave yourself room to manoeuvre. Try to be aware of what’s happening around you and look ahead. Watch for opening car doors. If possible, ride out from the door zone – a car door is about 1.5m wide. If you can’t do this, then slow down to a speed where you can stop in time.
Luggage - There are a load of options for carrying your clothes, lunch etc. Backpack, courier bags, baskets, panniers (bags that attach to a frame on the bike), trailers.....
Clothes - There's no need to go out and fill your wardrobe with lycra! We find it best to get changed one we reach our destination. The key to dressing for cycling is layers. Avoid one heavy top. Just wear a lightweight t-shirt and add a long sleeve top then wind or rain-proof jacket depending on the conditions. Shorts or leggings take care of the bottom half.
Other equipment - at a minimum you'll need:
- Bike (see above) - Make sure it's in good condition, get it serviced by a bike shop prior to the ride.
- Helmet - You can pick up helmets that meet Australian standards at any bike shop.
- Lock - get a good one.
- Lights - front and rear, at La Velocita we ride with our lights on day and night.
- Bell - Bikes must have a bell fitted.
At La Velocita we will be getting involved in the ride to work day. If you have any questions please leave them below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to seeing you all out there on 15 October 2014!