NEW BIKE: Bike Commuting During COVID-19: Benefits, Tips, and Gear Recommendations
With people feeling scared and anxious about taking public transit back to work during COVID-19, I wanted to share some tips and gear that I use for bike commuting, which is a safe way to travel and maintain social distancing. I have a habit of bike commuting whenever possible, now and in the past. Although I frequently ride a road bike and a mountain bike outside of work,, a few years ago I purchased a full-size electric, folding bike to use exclusively for bike commuting to meetings and projects.
My NEW electric bike is from Specialized. It allows me to ride up to 28 MPH and will go for up to 90 miles on a single charge. Most of my trips into the city are 10 miles or less. The big benefit I have had with riding my Specialized Vado electric bike to meetings, is that I can arrive quickly, without getting all sweaty. This is especially important in the summer season, when it is muggy and hot in New England!
If you are interested in bike commuting in the future, planning your approach and gear is very important. As my Dad says “plan your work, and work your plan”. Planning and preparing for travel is as important as planning for other areas of business, whether you are a business leader or entrepreneur. I often coach and teach clients about planning, scheduling, and organization. If you need help in this area, let me know!
I primarily ride on bike paths (Charles River Bike Path in Boston, MA USA) or routes that have designated bicycle lanes to ensure my safety. I also always use front and rear lights.
Depending on where I am meeting, many times I am able to fold my bike in half, although it is heavy, and bring it inside the meeting or a coffee shop. This helps to ensure my bike is secure. When I do need to lock up my bike, I use a hefty Kryptonite bike lock! This Lock weighs about 20 lbs and the only reason I use a lock of this weight is because with the electric pedal-assist on my bike I don’t really feel the weight of carrying it. There are other types of locks that weigh much less depending on your needs.
When I plan to bike commute into Boston, Cambridge, Belmont, Newton, or Watertown, I always arrive early to ensure I have a place to Lock my bike or am able to bring it inside. Once I’m inside of the building, I take a few minutes to change into business casual clothing. Many of my clients are fascinated with the fact that I bike to meet with them, and I get many questions from both clients and spectators about my bike — particularly that it folds or that it is electric. Do you have any questions so far? Comment below.
I have a 40 degree biking rule, so I bike when it is above this temperature year round, as weather allows.
Benefits of Bike commuting to work include:
- Great for the environment with a low carbon footprint
- Saving money on gas and parking for a car
- Promoting my fitness
- Opportunity to clear my mind while riding
- Quicker than driving (many times I can get to Cambridge or close-by meetings faster than I can drive a car)!
- Auto insurance discount (low mileage discount)
Some pieces of equipment and gear I highly recommend for those who bike commute, whether electric or traditional bike include:
Bike Equipment and Accessories:
- Bike (my Specialized Vado 4.0 electric bike has front suspension, disc breaks, bell, fenders, computer, 500w battery that fits in frame)
- Cargo rack (you can also just use a backpack)
- Cargo Trunk bag or Panniers (I have used this Topeak Trunk bag for over 15 years- durable, and expandable
- Lock (I bring this lock only when I need to park outside — large enough to wrap through frame and wheels when folded)
- Bell or horn (this bell is very loud and clear!)
- Fenders (keeps rain off your behind)
- Front and rear bicycle lights (USB chargeable)
- Polar Bike water bottle (20 oz) x 2
- Spare tube
- Chain lubricant
- Tire levers
- Portable Pump or CO2 cartridge
- Bike gloves
- Cycling jacket — screaming yellow
- Cycling shirt
- Rudy Project Sunglasses
- Cycling shorts
- Helmet mirror
Gear for Work/Meetings:
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 Tablet
- Tablet case and keyboard
- Bose Noise Canceling headphones — earbuds
- Anker 15000 MaH External Battery block
- Samsung S10 Galaxy phone- unlocked
Let me know if I’ve missed any items that you typically bring or recommend for bike commuting! Leave a comment below. Happy riding!
Disclaimer: This very helpful post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means that should you click any of the links and make a purchase, I may get a small commission at absolutely no cost to you.
TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK. WHAT GEAR DO YOU USE FOR BIKE COMMUTING? I SPENT A LOT OF TIME WRITING THIS STORY, SO IF YOU ENJOYED IT, PLEASE CONSIDER SHARING, AND LEAVE A COMMENT OR QUESTION AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS STORY. I’D REALLY APPRECIATE IT!
About the Author:
Sarah Scala is a senior talent management leader and executive coach with 20+ years of experience providing organization development, change management, and leadership development solutions for diverse global and local industries. She is a collaborative consultant, coach, and educator supporting performance transformation of executives, leaders, and teams. Sarah is a methodical, results-driven leader recognized for helping clients reach their highest potential, increase revenue, reduce turnover, elevate business profitability, build competencies, and improve performance.
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