Sometimes, part of my work involves exploring a destination. And since my daughter is now old enough to handle a bike on her own, we grab bikes from resorts we stay at and hit the town on our own or via bike tours so that I can gather the information I need to write a compelling article.
While you might see the same sights from a car, it’s a different more meaningful experience to explore cities—including your own—on two wheels. Maybe it’s the slower pace or the fact you need to look around more.
Either way, biking safely in a new destination is an activity that I highly recommend. I had an assignment in Santa Barbara so we biked up 7 miles from Montecito to Stearns Wharf and back.
Do you ride your bike to work? Maybe it’s time to start! May is actually National Bike to Work month so I’ve teamed up with goodnessknows—one of our new go-to snacks—to encourage people across the country to get pedaling. One way to do this is by participating in local Bike to Work activities.
goodnessknows has also partnered with Public Bikes (love, love the retro vibe these bikes have) to give residents in select markets a chance to win a brand new bike so be sure to check that out, too.
They’ve also provided some really excellent bike safety tips from their campaign partners that I’m pleased to share with you today.
Protect Your Head
I love that many hotels, I stay at have helmets for all ages. It’s so important to wear one no matter how short your ride is. Your head is your most valuable asset.
Check that Your Bike Is Ready
Do a quick “ABC Check” on your bike. (Air) make sure tires have air and ensure they’re inflated to the correct PSI. PUBLIC Bikes recommends 80psi. (Brakes) check your brakes to ensure they are functioning properly. (Chain) your chain should look like two parallel lines from above and kept free of dirt.
Stay Visible and Alert
Look out for obstacles and use hand signals to let people know where you’re going.
Pick the Right Accessories
There is a lot of awesome bike gear out there so consider things like a water bottle cage, basket for toting things and a headlight if you bike in early morning or evenings.
You need energy during a bike ride, right? I always ride with snacks and a full water bottle. Carolyn Brown, MS RD, recommends portable snacks with key nutrients that can easily be eaten in just a few bites. She says that goodnessknows snack squares are the perfect bike friendly snack as they offer the right mix of protein and fats. And, they’re in a perfect square format… four to a package.
Act Like a Car
The more predictable you ride, the safer you’ll be. Travel with the flow of traffic—it’s the law—and don’t weave in and out of cars.
Try New Routes
As I said above, riding a bike does a great job of connecting you to a city. See if you can find roads with minimal traffic and take bike paths even if they take a bit longer.
Carry a Cell Phone… Always
This goes without saying but make sure your cell phone is fully charged just in case of an emergency.
Do a Weekend Dry Run
Try your new Bike to Work route over a weekend when you are less in a rush. See how long it will take and what about the route might be challenging.
Wear Comfortable Clothing
Comfortable clothing and shoes keeps you safe and happy during a ride. You don’t need to don full-on biking gear. I’m a big fan of athletic wear that is cute enough for you to stay active—like ride a bike to work—and keep wearing throughout your day.