Spicing up Bike to Work Week
Written by Francis Cassidy, Professional Cycling Writer
May 21, 2019
Bike to work week is once again upon us. And May 27th – 31st is when we collectively make the conscious effort to swap four wheels for two. For some, it’s a temporary switch, while for many others the bicycle often becomes a permanent fixture in the daily commute.
It’s late May, and with budding leaves, early summer flowers and warmer temperatures, it’s the ideal time to oil up that bike and take the scenic route to work. But for those who require some extra motivation, here’s how to spice up your bike to work experience.
If you’re not an accomplished cyclist, then ensure you travel light. The last thing you need is a 10kg backpack holding you back as you grind over that first hill on your commute. Perhaps arrange to have a change of clothes in the office in anticipation. That way you have something fresh to change into without having to carry it.
Traveling light means packing only the essentials. A pump, a spare tube and a light jacket in case of rain comprise the bare necessities. For those who need to bring their laptops and other work-related gear, commuter backpacks exist that offer weather-proofing and secure storage for valuable electronics.
Vary your route
Doing the same commute every day can make it feel like groundhog day for some. Spice it up, take a detour, perhaps take in some city parks or explore some of the bike paths your city has to offer.
Perhaps leave home 20 minutes earlier and give yourself time to truly appreciate the commute. With the improving early summer weather, it’s the ideal time to work on that tan, top up the vitamin D levels and open up the lungs. And to ensure you look the part, remember that quality pair of sunglasses!
Many people find that morning exercise leaves them in a more alert state, with a more stable mood throughout the day. Getting that early-morning sunlight in your eyes coupled with the physical effort is oftentimes just what your body needs.
However, if you’re one of those people who require an extra incentive when it comes to exercising, then why not forego the double expresso first thing in the morning? Perhaps treat yourself to that coffee and a muffin on the way to work. Safe in the knowledge that you’re burning calories on your commute, forgiving yourself for the indulgence won’t be an issue!
Ride in easy, ride home hard
Not all offices have showers, and no one wants to sit beside the sweaty guy in the office all day. By taking it easy on the morning commute you’ll avoid those underarm sweat stains. Save your energy for the return leg. And if the weather is good, why not add on some extra distance. Many competitive cyclists use the return commute as part of their structured training.
It can often be a chance for some extra interval training and increased training stress. It’s often difficult to get the freedom to really bury yourself for an intense interval if you’re cycling on city bike paths. If however, you do have the open road to yourself, then why not crank out the watts and work up a sweat!
What’s not to love about the bike to work initiative? Many people are bitten by the cycling bug during bike to work week. The benefits are all too apparent to many, and the idea of sitting in traffic oftentimes seems no longer appealing. With the fine summer weather fast approaching, it may be time to dust off the saddle, strap on the helmet and cool shades and navigate the urban jungle with a newfound purpose!
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