In honor of National Bike to Work Week and Bike Month AND Bike to Work Day (today), I have decided to write a post about biking to work! I started biking to work a little over a month ago and it’s been quite lovely. I don’t bike every single day of the week, but usually 2 or 3 days. Like… if it’s going to rain, I’m definitely not going to bike because I’m not trying to be moist all day ya know?
I started biking because I only live 6ish miles away from my work and it’s super easy to get there. Seriously, I take like 3 roads to get there and there is a bike lane nearly the whole way there. I also lease my car and have to watch my mileage, so it’s nice to save 12-13 miles a day on my car AND I don’t have to buy gas as often! And also helping to save the planet, EVER HEARD OF IT!?
If you are considering starting to bike to work but you’re looking for some advice, you came to the right place!
The first and most important thing about biking to work is that you want to get a front and a tail light for your bike. This is assuming you bike on the roads, I don’t know about other states but in Ohio it’s actually illegal in most cities to bike on the sidewalks and you have to be on the roads. I spent about $50 on each light, which I know seems expensive, but you want a good light that you know cars will see. It’s pretty much light out when I go to work, and it’s definitely light out when I leave, but I still turn at least the tail light on no matter what.
Now for logistics! People ask me what my routine is like and if I shower at work etc, etc. I do have a shower at my work but I don’t use it because it’s just way too much work to bring a bunch of shower stuff, hairdryer, etc to work just for a 6 mile bike ride, ya know?
I shower at home in the morning and dry my hair before leaving for work. This means I’m still clean when I get to work, but maybe just a lil sweaty, but IDK I feel like being a little sweaty after a shower isn’t a big deal because I still just smell like soap. I wear cycling clothes when I go to work but I bring clean work clothes in my backpack, along with my makeup bag and my hair straightener. I know some people bike to work in their work clothes, which is totally fine! But I don’t want to sit around all morning in damp work clothes. That sounds cold and annoying. Also, homegirl NEEDS to have a chamois pad between me and the bike seat IF you know what I mean.
Once I have my backpack ready and my bike clothes on, then I bike to work! Usually I take it pretty easy, especially because my body is not fully awake yet AND my way to work is basically entirely uphill. Then once I get to work, I lock my bike up and go into the building. I’m sure I look like a total douche with my full cycling kit plus cycling shoes on, but you know what? I don’t give a fuck. I am SINGLE HANDEDLY saving the earth and being healthy by biking to work so LET THE HATERS HATE (but no one actually really judges me because I work at the EPA and they’re just happy I’m #goinggreen).
I then go into my office and drop some of my crap off, then I go into the bathroom to change, put my makeup on, and do my hair (my hair is usually a lil sweaty initially but it’s usually pretty much dry when I finish my makeup). This whole process takes like 15 minutes total. I keep a brush, deodorant, hairspray, and dry shampoo at work so I don’t have to haul it all back and forth in my backpack. I should probably also get some body wipes for when it starts to get really hot outside. I also have extra contact lenses, hair ties, and bandaids in my makeup bag because you never know!
Oh! Also! Another thing I do is pack light clothing so my backpack isn’t really heavy. I usually just bring underwear (I don’t wear underwear with cycling shorts because this is not amateur hour), a bra, a dress (I seriously wear a dress every day in the summer), and sandals or flats! These clothes are easy and don’t take up a lot of room in my bag.
After I’ve changed and finished getting ready, I go back into my office and I’m lucky enough to have a little closet/ cabinet thing with a bar for me to hang up my sweaty bike clothes to dry! This is key. I don’t want to put on sweaty bike clothes when I’m getting ready to bike home!
Another thing I do to make my life easier is meal prep my food for the week. I will make all my breakfasts and lunches for the week on Sunday, then on Mondays I drive to work and bring all my food with me to keep it in the fridge here! Luckily, we have a big fridge that not a ton of people use so I can take up a lot of room in there. This way I don’t have to bike to work with my lunch in my backpack. I have done it before though, if I just bring a sandwich or something it really isn’t that bad, but it is nice to not have to worry about it!
At the end of the day, I take my bike clothes into the bathroom and change back into them. Then I pack up my backpack and head home!
I’m sure everyone has a different routine for biking to work, but this is what works for me and so far it has been great. If you have a safe and easy route to get to work (and you own a bike LOL) I definitely suggest biking to work!