Georgia Commute Options is promoting the Atlanta Biketober challenge, and they’ve posted a couple of articles with tips for both first-time and experienced bike commuters. Each one highlights a new commuter as their example.
From “Tips for a First-Time Cyclist”:
Sarah rides her bike one mile each way to work. Despite living relatively close to work, transitioning to biking everyday can be daunting! That’s why, when she started commuting by bike in January, she initially only biked to work a few days that month. Then, she biked a little more in February, and even more in March. By the time she returned to work in May, she was ready to bike to work most days!
From “Elevate Your Cycling”:
[…] Chris decided to start biking to his office. He was already biking most nights when he got home, so why not integrate biking into his commute? Compared to his 21-mile car commute, his bike commute gives him two options – a shorter 15-mile round-trip trek, where he bikes to a MARTA station and rides into the office from there, or a slightly longer 30-mile trip, where he opts to take trails and roads that consider hills and traffic patterns.
While neither of these is a comprehensive guide for beginners, they offer some good tips (especially for someone considering Biketober). A common theme between them is to start small and experiment with what works for you. Commute routes can vary dramatically in terms of comfort and safety. You also have to think about much stuff you need to cary, what kind of clothes you wear, how you’ll park your bike, and what time of day you’ll commute. Instead of stressing about this while you try to get to work on time, ease into it when the stakes are low.
For tips on gear, it’s worth checking out A Quick Brown Fox’s Bicycle Commuter Basics poster. (It curiously doesn’t mention lights. Although lights aren’t necessary if you never ride in the dark, daylight is rapidly shortening now. It can’t hurt to keep a front light on hand.)