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How to Bike to Work

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“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.” –John F. Kennedy
There aren’t many things that I get as much enjoyment out of as riding my bicycle to work. Ignoring the cost benefit for the moment, just imagine the efficiency of completing one task and simultaneously knocking three things off your “to-do” list at the same time:

  1. Spend some time outdoors in the fresh air.
  2. Exercise.
  3. Get to-and-from work.

Don’t fret though, this isn’t going to be a philosophical article about all the benefits of riding your bike, or a cost-benefit analysis of commuting to work. No, this is going to be a nuts and bolts article to help you get started on riding your bike to work.

Step One: Have A Bike

Now you’re likely wondering how difficult it is to ride a bike to work without having a bike. Rest assured, its tough to pull off. But in the off chance that you are considering biking to work and you don’t have a bike yet, don’t rush out and get one before you finish this article. It’ll help you narrow down your choices. Hell, you might already have a bike and haven’t even realized how unrealistic it will be to ride it to work. Planning to ride your single speed beach cruiser 20 miles on a gravel trail won’t exactly be setting yourself up for long term success.
Also, if you don’t have a bike, or don’t have an appropriate one, don’t feel obligated to go out to REI or your local bike shop and drop $1,000 on a bike. Search for used ones first. Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, or the occasional yard sale will have plenty of options for you to metaphorically dip your toe in the waters of bike commuting. The cost benefit of this is obvious, and it’s also much easier to decide that a different type of bike, or different options or accessories would suit you better. Then you can find exactly what you are looking for and sell the used bike at little to no loss.
Continue Reading Steps 2-4 Over at ChooseFI
Tune in next week for an update and explanation on how to build the ultimate commuting bike!


  • Captain DIY

    Yes! I’m trying to come with ways to get into this, but my 14 mile commute is a little daunting. There is a bike path the whole way, so there’s that. I’m thinking about getting started by driving halfway, where there is a great parking area next to the bike path, and biking the rest of the way. Notfeasible time-wise everyday, but on the days I can I’d love to do it.

    • James Lowery

      Captain DIY, It’s funny that you say that because my commute when we lived in St. Louis was just at 15 miles each way and 12 miles of that was a bike trail. I loved that ride, but it could get pretty taxing so I only did it 3x a week. Next week’s article will be right up your alley. We are going to dive into some DIY and biking and particularly extending the feasible range of biking.

  • Andy

    Good stuff, James. Sometimes you don’t even need that step 1. Many cities now (like mine) have Rideshare bikes available that you check out from one docking station and back in at another. A ton of people now commute that way and the costs are pretty damn low. Although personally, I prefer the bike that I already own.

  • Dustin Branham

    I’m a sucker for bike articles. Thanks for writing this one. Biking to work, the store, or to meet up with friends is SO much easier than lots of people assume. And it comes with such awesome benefits. As I’ve heard before, it’s the opposite of driving: one makes your butt fat and your wallet thin, and the other does the opposite. Keep riding, friends!

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