Thursday, September 11, 2014

How to cycle to work - Part 02

Continuing my story on cycling to work, here are some suggested steps that you can take to commute with a bike.

Good timekeeping enables you to get into the fray without wasting valuable time

Step 4:  Manage your time

Bear in mind that cycling takes double the time you would take compared to driving or riding a motorcycle to work.
So, be sure to give yourself the time advantage.
It pays to leave early and beat the morning traffic.
In the constantly hot and humid Malaysian weather, it's best to leave before the Sun is right on top of your head.
Getting on the road early also gives you ample time to clean up and change at the office.
The same would apply for leaving the office. 
If need be, try not to ride in the dark.

Road debris will eventually find its way to your tires..

Step 5: Learn to recover your bike from mechanical problems and flats..

Make it a point to learn all about handling mechanical issues on the bike. 
A rule of thumb: the simpler the bike, the less time you are going to waste troubleshooting.
Also learn to recover your bike's tire from a flat.
This is a hands-on learning experience you will never get from browsing the internet or veiwing YouTube.
And never assume that you will never experience a puncture. That's simply an arrogant presumption.
Weight is never an issue when it comes to commuting. So, on your saddlebag, be sure to pack your bike tools, patch kit, spare chain cutter, chain pins, magic link and a spare inner tube.
Do invest in a good hand pump as you are gonna needed it to inflate your tires.
If you use a Presta valve, get a Schrader adaptor because the fastest way to inflate is at a petrol station's air pump.

Food in the tummy converts to energy..
Step 6: Load up, hydrate!

Before you roll out, be sure to fill up your stomach.
Strenuous conditions can lead to dire consequences when you are on the road.
Also make it a point to carry a bottle of water regardless of the distance that you are going to cover.

Cyclists are not the only road users

Step 7: Obey ALL traffic rules..

When you are on a bicycle, you are 100 times more vulnerable to the oncoming traffic.
Observe all safety and traffic rules.
Do not assume that motorists would give way. Be on the defensive and be patient when you are crossing intersections.
Also learn the proper hand signals to indicate turning so that motorists can slow down to allow you a safe passage.
Do not jump the traffic light at any cost.

Cycling in the dark is a risky task

Step 8: Be seen 

Invest in a good headlight.
Don't be stingy. 
Lighting up enables other motorists to see you from a distance.
Helmet lights are a plus and blinkers on the rear of you bike states you mean business.
Also avoid wearing dark clothing when you are on the road. High visibility gives the cyclist the advantage of being seen.

Take shelter from the rain if necessary

Step 9: Wait it out.

Not every day is a sunny day.
There are times that bad weather would ruin your ride.
So, try not to force yourself to cycle in the rain as poor visibility can result in accidents and bodily harm.

Step 10: Safety first..

Unless you are sure of the risks, never engage the road alone.
Make it a point to cycle in routes that are not off the beaten path.
If shit happens, be prepared to ditch your bike and belongings. You only live once.
Wear head protection at all times, leave an emergency line on your phone and make it a point to pack a small first aid kit in case of falls.
And if you are unfit to ride, do not push yourself. Train.
Cease your ride if you are unwell and when you hit the road, always inform someone you know..

Well, there you have it, I hope I've covered all the basic stuff. Stay tuned for more!

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