New bike commuters tell us they have a hard time locating the basic information they need to get started among the more advanced and esoteric material on EcoVelo. I can’t imagine why; the site only contains 1,997 posts and 17,425 comments as of this morning… LOL.
All kidding aside, we take your feedback seriously. To address this issue, we’ll be doing an ongoing “Bike Commuting 101″ series that’ll consist of articles geared toward first time commuters. We’ll cover topics such as “Hot to Get Started”, “How to Carry Stuff”, “How to Fix a Flat”, “Maintenance Basics”, and so on and so forth. All of the articles will fall under the new “Bike Commuting 101″ category so they can be filtered and located quickly and easily. The articles will be short and sweet to leave room for input from our awesome community of regulars. So, without further ado…
Following is a list of the bare necessities required to get started bike commuting:
- A bicycle. Any reliable bike will do, so long as it’s appropriately geared for the terrain. Puncture proof tires (or tire liners) are a good idea.
- Lights. A set of small, modern LED lights is sufficient.
- A repair kit. It’s good to carry a small multi-tool, a patch kit, a small pump, and a spare tube for those inevitable roadside repairs. It’s a good idea to practice a couple of flat repairs at home prior to hitting the road.
- A lock. A high-quality U-lock is a must. Even if a person has secure bike parking, it’s good to carry a lock for shopping, meetings, etc.
- A way to carry things. This could be as simple as a small backpack or as elaborate as a set of touring panniers. My favorite for everyday use is a simple grocery pannier.
- Motivation. The most important element is the desire to get out of the car and do a good thing for oneself and the planet.
That’s about it. Of course, a person can get much more elaborate if they so choose, but the fact is, bike commuting is a simple activity that doesn’t require much in the way of specialized equipment or training.