How to bicycle to work
Grab a light breakfast. Your body needs energy to burn.
A bicycle jersey and cycling shorts (bibs) are essential for a comfortable ride. This is especially true for rides that are 10-20+ miles one way. Stick to hi-vis yellow and white colors. Avoid black.
Cycling bibs are not just for style. They are padded on the inside to protect from hard bumps and chafing. Wear them commando-style for maximum benefit.
I can't stress this enough, buy a new helmet! Helmets have saved me from serious injury multiple times. Wear your helmet at all times and have it correctly adjusted and buckled.
This is most of the gear I take with me every day. Important in this picture are: wallet, keys, eye protection, cellphone with case and most importantly two correct tyre tubes that fit your wheels.
Gloves protect your wrists from carpel tunnel by reducing vibration, provide a better grip, prevent road rash and come with a snot pad. Reflective snap-on wrist bands help with night-time signaling.
Two tyre poppers/levers are necessary to get your tyre off so that you can replace your tubes. Flathead screwdrivers can be used but may ruin your rims or tubes and pose an impalement hazard.
Multi-hex wrench allows you to adjust most parts on your like and set your derailleurs. Look for one that comes with the essential 5mm hex, 4mm hex, Phillips and a flathead screwdrivers.
This is how it all looks when packed away in my rear pockets. Also a great place to store snacks so that you don't have to stop and unclip each time.
This is my 1984 Trek 460 racing road bicycle. It is a 22" double-butted Tange 1000 steel frame. I have been repairing and upgrading this bike myself. Make sure to select a road bicycle for commuting.
If you buy a new or used bike take it to a competent bicycle mechanic so that he can look it over and verify that it's road safe. You want to avoid any unforeseen surprises, especially with old bikes.
Bicycle cleats are a system which allows the rider to efficiently transfer energy to the bicycle pedals along the entire 360 degrees of rotation. SIDI invented this system and I highly recommend them.
Get shoes that fit well and tighten everything down for optimal speed.
This is how the cleat looks like when it's mounted on the shoe. Use the correct bolts and tighten them down properly! If you don't know what you are doing, go consult your local bicycle shop.
This is the Shimano 105 SPD-SL cleat pedal. The shoes clip in just like skis. Twist heel out to release. This model is nearly identical in function to the more expensive Ultegra and Dura Ace designs.
When in neutral position the cleat always reverts to a clip-ready state. There is no need to buy dual-sided cleats to address this. It is actually possible to fail clipping in on 2/4 sides with those.
This is a frame mini-pump. You must have one with you to pump up replaced tubes.
Check your front lights to make sure they are securely mounted and that they have a charge.
Check your rear lights to make sure they are securely mounted and that they have a charge.
Check your spoke lights to make sure they are securely mounted and that they have a charge. (Using reflectors is fine too.)
Press down firmly with your thumb to check that the tyre pressure is good in both tubes. Sidewalls specify tyre pressure. They will usually say 100PSI. If you're low use your floor pump as necessary.
Check both quick release levers to make sure they are tight and point back.
Check all seat bolts to make sure they are tight and the seat is in the correct position.
Check both brakes for necessary breaking force. Squeeze brakes tightly and push bike forward then back until opposite wheel lifts off the ground.
If breaks are mushy or unresponsive you can tighten the barrel adjuster, close the brake quick-release, or adjust/replace your brake pads.
If brakes are rubbing you can adjust the angle of the wheel within the frame, reposition the brake pads, true your wheel (advanced), or align the brakes. Use screwdriver if brakes similar to my type.
Lock the house. Congratulate yourself on locking the house. Try to remember If there is anything you are forgetting to bring with you today...
... remember to bring the backpack for clothing.
Clip in, you are now ready to rock and roll!
Commute to work. Enjoy the scenery. Contemplate how lame it must be to sit stuck in rush hour traffic right about now.
Arrive at work and grab u-lock from work desk.
Lock your bicycle up through the parking object, bicycle frame and front wheel. Use cable lock in addition or quick release the front wheel and lock it through the frame & back one if you're worried.
Arrive at work with a great story about your commute!
Grab the clothing you stored at work and quickly change into it in a designated area. Use deodorant and take a shower if one is available.
Come into the office dressed professionally, energetic and happy, ready to knock out some excellent design work! ... or whatever it is you do.