As a busy woman, it’s challenging to find efficient ways to get more exercise, right? Well, one way to tone up and keep in shape while doing something else is to commute to and from work on a bicycle. That is if you’re up for the challenge and you live within a reasonable distance from your job. Not only does this get you fit quickly, but it helps the environment at the same time by spending less time in your car. However, before you hit the road, here are some tips for smart bicycle commuting.
Smart Bicycle Commuting #1: Choose the Right Bicycle
Your commuting experience will be more successful if you have the right equipment. First, consider the type of terrain between your house and your place of work. Choose a bicycle that is suited for the surfaces you are riding on. For example, wider tires are usually better for paved surfaces. You may also find straight or upright handlebars more comfortable for regular commuting. Also, make sure your bicycle has rear fenders to protect your clothing. Bicycle stores help with bicycle selection for specific goals and use.
Smart Bicycle Commuting #2: Use Quality Safety Equipment
Being on the road in a car can be dangerous enough, but think about how vulnerable you are on a bike. Protecting yourself is imperative if you plan to commute to work on a bicycle. First, a helmet is the most important piece of safety equipment you will need. Hundreds of bicyclists are killed each year by vehicles. This, of course, doesn’t count all who sustain lesser injuries. Injury attorneys like O’Brien and Ford, P.C. represent clients in bicycle accidents every day. They confirm that head injuries are the most serious, and the most preventable, type of injury in bicycle accidents.
If your commute takes you out early in the morning or late in the evening, headlamps and reflectors are required by law in most states, and necessary for your protection. Drivers of vehicles are not always looking for bicyclists, and the more visible you are, the better. A loud bell is also a good way to notify drivers around you of your presence.
Smart Bicycle Commuting #3: Be Prepared
- If you are prepared for minor inconveniences like flat tires and bad weather, you are safer and will enjoy your commute more. Tubeless tires will greatly reduce the chance of a flat, and puncture resistant tires are available for bicycles, just as they are for cars. You may spend a bit more, but the peace of mind you get may be well worth the extra money.
- Keep a spare change of clothes at your place of employment, in case you run into an unexpected rain shower, get splashed by a car, or feel extra sweaty on a particularly hot day.
- Keep a small repair kit handy.
- Outfit your bicycle with a saddlebag or basket so you can carry personal belongings comfortably.
Smart Bicycle Commuting #4: Carry Insurance
Your auto insurance may cover you if you are injured in an accident with a car, but make sure to check with your insurance agent before you spend a lot of time on your bike. Of course, if a motorist hits you, their automobile insurance policy will cover your property damages and personal injuries. Your uninsured motorist coverage may cover you if the driver was not insured. General information about uninsured motorist coverage and other issues can be found on most law firms’ websites, like TheObrienFirm.com, or on your insurance company’s website.
If you are in an accident on your way to or from work, you are usually not covered by worker’s compensation, but there are some exceptions to the general rule. A worker’s compensation attorney like Campbell & Associates Law in Hickory, NC can advise you if you are covered. You can purchase a stand-alone bicycle insurance policy to cover you for your own injuries, and if you happen to injure someone else while you are riding your bicycle.