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  • 10 Essential Tips for Bike Commuting

    If you're not already doing it, you've probably at least started thinking about riding to work. That's great! With a little preparation, riding your bike to work has all kinds of benefits. And it's a lot more fun than sitting in a car, stuck in a traffic jam!

    If you're new to the whole commuting thing or just haven't done it in a while, I've put together our top 10 bike commuting tips to help you get over the learning curve sooner than later.

    1. Plan your route.


    Narrow, busy roads are no fun when you're on a bike. Big trucks and careless cars zooming by while you try to stay within a 1-foot shoulder can create a lot of anxiety, and for good reason. So before you start, check out a map and run through the options. If bike paths or roads with bike lanes are available, use them, even if they're not the most direct route. A couple of added minutes each day are much less worse than getting hit by a truck, and the commute will be much more enjoyable if you have plenty of space.

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  • 16 Reasons You Should Bike to Work

    Our favorite part of National Bike Month is Bike to Work Week. This year it's May 11 - 15, with the 15th being National Bike to Work Day. To help you prepare and get motivated to join in, we've thrown together a list of the benefits of biking to work.


    1. Everyone looks at you walking into the office with your bike and wishes they were as good as you.
    Entering office with bike
    It's a great way to make your co-workers feel like they could be a little bit better. A little bit like you.
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  • 8 Things I Learned with a Bike as My Sole Method of Transportation

    Urban bicycle commuter

    After graduating high school and moving out of my parents' house, I found myself without a car, a job, or any money. Finally securing a part-time job, I saved up and bought a bike for $300. This old Giant road bike became my primary form of transportation for the next five years, carrying me from home to school to work and back home every day. Recently, I purchased my first car, causing me to think back on all the things I learned from biking nearly every day for those five years.

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  • Getting hit: Gordon's run-in with a minivan

    A few days ago -- July 4th of all days -- one of our extraordinary shippers, Gordon, was riding his bike into work to put in some early morning holiday hours. Unfortunately, he didn't make it into the warehouse that day, but not because he got sidetracked by an Independence Day parade or a BBQ. Nope, he was hit by a car.

    Luckily, Gordon walked away without too many injuries, but it could have easily been much worse. He sat down with me to talk about the experience.


    Q: First off, describe the accident. What happened?
    A: I was heading down west… and a vehicle was coming eastbound. He turned left into a gas station, and he didn't see me -- probably because I didn't have lights. It was also dark and rainy. I had some reflective gear on, but it wasn't enough. He didn't see me, and he didn't turn on any blinkers or anything and we just collided. I hit his front passenger quarter-panel. I hit his hood and his windshield, and then I flew 20 feet into some grass just across the way.
    Gordon's bike after the accident
    He got out of his vehicle and asked if I wanted to go the hospital. I said yes. I was able to stand up and walked to his vehicle with his help. He put me in and took me to the hospital. My injuries were my right knee and left shoulder (both had x-rays, both were fine). I have scrapes on my left arm from the windshield wipers cutting me. [After] further investigation, I have a torn or strained ligament in my left shoulder. Nothing's wrong with my knees. They're just a little sore, still.

    Q: Did you hit your head?
    A: Yeah, I hit my head. I have a black eye. I had a swollen face and it hurt to chew for the first week.

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  • Shedding some light on bike lights

    This time of the year, at least here in the northern hemisphere, the days are getting longer (hurrah!). So you may be asking why we would be writing about bike lights. You see, this time change (who's idea was this, anyway?) happens right when people in the snowy parts of the country are finally starting to thing about commuting to work by bike again. But suddenly, it's dark again at 7:30 a.m.! And that's one more reason to drive or take the bus.

    Well don't let the dark mornings be an excuse! All you'll need is a light or two or three, and you'll be sitting pretty.

    Since the sun is making it's way up, you probably don't need a ton of light on the path in front of you. Rather, the most important light you need is a safety light. Or even better, two or three safety lights. These affordable little bike lights make you visible to motorists and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.


    Bike headlight-taillight combo

    Probably the most important safety light you can get is a big, bright bike taillight. These usually mount to the seatpost and feature multiple modes (steady, flashing, alternating, etc.). There are tons of great options out there, and a decent light can be purchased for around $20.


    On the front of the bike, a nice little handlebar-mount bike headlight is perfect for early mornings. When it's still mostly dark, it can work as a headlight, lighting the path in front of you. Then, as it gets lighter, you can put it on flashing mode to make drivers notice. These are very affordable and go for months on one set of batteries.

    If you want to save yourself some time, just get a headlight-taillight combo.

    To top it off, throw one or two flashing safety lights -- picture a Knog light -- around the frame. When it comes to riding in limited light, you can never be too careful!

    Check out our bike lights guide over at Bikewagon Community College for more information on choosing the best lights for your situation!

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