If you’re trying to be more sustainable, you’ve surely looked into the various ways how you can help preserve the planet for all the generations to come. One that might have popped up quite often is adopting the cycling lifestyle. So, if you’re wondering whether you would be able to get around town by bike, read on for a quick guide.
Why is using a bike to get around town beneficial?
First of all, you’re probably weighing all the pros and cons of switching to this kind of lifestyle. Here are some advantages you can expect.
It is more affordable
For one, getting around town by bike is simply more affordable. You will not have to pay for gas and parking or a monthly bus pass. Furthermore, you will not have to worry about registering your car, paying for insurance, and getting it serviced regularly. On the other hand, bikes require only an initial investment and occasional maintenance.
You’ll be healthier
You’ll surely appreciate the fact that cycling on a regular basis can make you healthier. It will not only help you manage weight but it can also boost your mental health and improve balance and posture. Plus, cycling is a low-impact type of activity that will not put a lot of stress on your body.
It’s better for the environment
Another great benefit of cycling is that you will be helping save the environment. You will be reducing your carbon footprint and you might instill this activity in your kids from a young age, which will definitely be great for everyone’s future.
What do you need in order to adopt the cycling lifestyle?
Once you’ve decided that this is the right move, you need to properly equip yourself for this type of lifestyle. There are several things you will need.
Quality bikes are a must
First and foremost, you need a good bike. As there are various types of bikes available, you need to do some research in order to find the right one for yourself. For example, if you need a bike to go to work, city bikes, cruiser bikes, road bikes, and even folding bikes can all be great choices. Most of those are also useful if you simply want to explore the town for fun or run errands. To make cycling a family activity, you should also look into reliable kids’ bikes. On the other hand, for exploring nature around your town, a gravel or mountain bike might be a better choice.
Don’t overlook gear
While a bike is the first thing you need, you cannot overlook some essential gear for cycling. A helmet is a must no matter how far you are going on your bike. Then, you want closed-toe shoes that will protect your feet as well as breathable and waterproof apparel that will keep you comfortable and visible. In addition, you should also add baskets, backpacks, and messenger bags that will make it easy to carry the things you need for the day. You also want these to be waterproof to protect your belongings. What is more, your bike should have front and rear lights too while you should also consider installing a handlebar mirror and a bell. Lastly, a water bottle and holder, a flat repair kit, and a floor pump shouldn’t be overlooked either.
Find a good repair shop
Even though there are some bike issues you will be able to resolve on your own and with a YouTube tutorial, it’s always good to find a local repair shop where you will have your bike serviced. Plus, you might also make some friends there.
How to buy a bike?
In case you currently don’t have the funds necessary to purchase a bike that will help you get around town, you’ll be glad to hear that you are not without options. Depending on where you live, you might be able to find some incentives and grants that will help you get a bike for yourself. In some cases, your country or city might be giving out grants to residents in order to encourage sustainability and lower pollution. If you qualify, you should be able to get yourself a nice ride. On the other hand, perhaps your employer is willing to offer a financial incentive and support employees that prefer biking to work. Just by doing some research, you might be able to find a great opportunity that will allow you to implement this lifestyle without a glitch.
How to be safe on the road?
Now that you’ve equipped yourself for the road, it’s also vital that you stay safe while traveling on your bike. In case you haven’t ridden in a while, you might not be confident in your skills or scared of getting into an accident. However, you can easily mitigate the risks by practicing on empty roads, having the right gear, planning a route, and understanding traffic rules. For starters, ride around a bit on your street or find some empty parking lot where you can get a feel for your bike before you go straight into busy traffic. Then, having the necessary protective gear will ensure that even if you have a minor incident, you’ll escape unscathed. Something else you can do is walk along your planned route to see how busy it is and if you can find an alternative one with less traffic. If there are no lanes designated for bikes, be extra careful and don’t rush. Lastly, remember to make yourself visible by wearing a helmet and apparel made of hi-vis yellow and reflective material, installing and using lights, and using your bell or voice to notify others of your presence.
How to protect your bike?
Finally, you want to keep your bike safe as well. For starters, invest in a quality lock if you plan on leaving it out on the street. At work, check if there is storage where you can put it but still lock it. What is more, you can also look into registering your bike, which will aid the authorities in finding it in case of theft.
If you’re thinking about buying a bike and using it to get around town, keep all of the above-mentioned tips in mind and remember to stay safe.