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Commute to Work by Bike

It really isn't that hard, will save you a lot of money and you will get very fit. But where do you start?

1. Find a safe and pleasant route: Don't just assume that the route you drive to work is the best route for biking. Often the best bike route includes back streets and side roads which may make your trip slightly longer but much safer and more enjoyable.

2. Do a test run: Try it on a day with light traffic, test different routes and figure out the time. Avoid streets with excessive potholes or junk in the road.

3. Find a safe place to park: Bike theft is rampant, but more and more office buildings are providing indoor parking for bikes. Some buildings let you bring your bike up the elevator to your office. Get the biggest, heaviest, and most expensive lock that you can afford and lift.

4. Pick the right bike: Don't get a $3,000 racing bike or a fancy mountain bike; it isn't necessary and it will attract thieves. Get a simple, solid, midrange bike (the Trek Lime was designed for this) and consider used, although try to buy from a reputable source who isn't selling hot bikes. Consider a folding bike if you need to bring it into the office.

5. Follow the rules: It is hard to get drivers to respect cyclists if we go through red lights and generally ignore the law. The toughest are four-way stops in residential neighborhoods that you just want to blow through, but try.

6. Learn how to make simple repairs: There is nothing worse than having to push a bike home for want of an air pump.

7. Be careful: Watch out for the door prize; keep your eye on the outside mirrors parked cars as you are driving by them, if you see someone in the mirror they may be in the process of getting out of the car. Watch out for the right hook- drivers turning right without checking their mirrors. Never pass buses or trucks on the right at an intersection-they can't see you.

8. Get a Pannier bag: These are the ones that hang over the rear wheel. Backpacks add too much weight for the little seats to be comfortable, and get hot in summer.

9. Dress appropriately: The Hugo Boss suit looks terrific, but it isn't designed for biking, change at the office if you have to wear one. Invest in good quality biking clothes that are flexible and breathe. Make yourself look loud and obnoxious-you want to be highly visible. If you are riding at night get lights and make sure they work. 10. Wear a helmet: No discussion here, no debate-they work and they save lives. You wouldn't carry your notebook computer without a bag for protection, why wouldn't you do the same for your brain? ::With help from Wikihow Difficulty level: Moderate at first, but then easy.