Biking or walking to work is a great way to exercise without having to go to the gym. You can show up at work with a smile on your face after getting your blood flowing.
Especially with beautiful spring weather and longer days, there is really no reason to get in your car for short trips. Two miles are an energizing ten minutes to refresh yourself on the way to or from work. Besides being great for your own health, replacing a car trip with a bike trip is great for our planet’s health, too, not to mention the health of your neighbors.
I have found Nevada City and Grass Valley to be great places to ride. While there is always room for improvement, in general the low amount of traffic and polite drivers makes this area quite enjoyable to ride in. Do you notice how many cars are on the road in the picture above? And how about that bike lane? So get on out there, and chances are we’ll see each other on the road with smiles on our faces! Check out the tips below to make your ride even better.
- A little bit of equipment can go a long way. A backpack is an easy way to start. But, with a bike rack and bag, it’s more comfortable to bring a computer, extra clothing, lunch, lock and whatever else you need. You’ll like this a lot better than wearing a bag on your back. Especially when the weather is a little bit warmer, you’ll appreciate letting your back breathe by letting the rack hold your gear. Beyond that, you should have some basic safety equipment. A helmet is a must, as are lights if you are riding in the dark. A new $30 helmet is just as safe as a $100 helmet. Check out Tour of Nevada City Bike Shop for your accessory needs.
- Practice some basic maintenance. First, keep your tires inflated to their recommended pressure. The pressure will be listed on the side wall of the tire. Bike tires sometimes need to have air added once a week. Also, keep your bike dry, in a garage or shed, so it doesn’t rust and wear. If your bike has been sitting untouched for a couple of years, bring it in to Tour of Nevada City for a tune up. You don’t need to be a gear head to take care of the most basic bike care tasks.
- Your bike ride is a meditation, not a race. Racing to your destination will only make your ride dangerous and make you sweaty when you arrive. So, calm down, put it into low gear on the hills, and enjoy the ride. Signal your intentions clearly to other road users, and be patient. A slow and steady bike ride will get you to your destination feeling refreshed, like a walk through the woods.
Once you start riding your bike to work, you’ll wonder why you even own that second car! Happy Earth Day!