To make the Atlanta Bike Challenge: Biketober! A fun experience, here are just a few things to keep in mind as you plan your rides.
Ride with confidence - Don't worry about holding up other traffic. Being more visible and taking a primary position is the best way to stay safe. Only let people pass when you feel safe (the law is on your side!)
Grab a bike buddy – One thing you can do that is guaranteed to make your bike commute a better experience is to find someone to share it with you! Even if you just meet up halfway, having someone else to share the joys and experiences of the road with can make bike commuting feel like you’re on an adventure and not headed to/from work!
- Stopping – make sure you can stop quickly and safely if you need to.
- Turning – practice turning quickly and confidently to avoid objects or make a turn while riding at speed.
- Observation – practice looking over your shoulder and to your right and left while riding.
- Riding with one hand – lift one hand at a time off the handlebars and repeat until you can control your bike with either hand (this is so you can learn to signal turns with your hands)
Dress normally - If your ride is less than 30 minutes (~4 miles), chances are you can just ride in your normal work clothes. Unless you want to ride fast, you can just cruise into work on your bike - no sweat! This will save you time and hassle, and if you find yourself a bit sweaty you might be amazed how simple it is to clean up with a few handy wipes.
Pro tip: roll rather than fold your work clothes to avoid creases.
Find the best route - Don't just take the route you would if you were in a car; try looking for routes through quiet neighborhood streets or other parallel/alternatives routes where traffic is naturally slower and safer. Adding a little bit of distance in exchange for a more comfortable ride is almost always worth it!
Keep your cool - Learn to keep calm and not to react to angry or impatient drivers-keeping a cool head will maximize your safety and make the commute less stressful and in the end a much better experience.
Check your Progress at ATLBikeChallenge.com.