More than seven percent of all Portland commuters choose to get to work by bike. Walker Tracker’s employees proudly contribute towards the 17,000 Portlanders out pedaling their commute. When you hop on your bike you’re getting a healthy workout; you also skip the traffic jams, feel the breeze on your face and best of all, no need to look for parking!
We gathered our staff that we suspected as Most likely to bike and asked them to share their tips on cycle-commuting. If you’re just getting started comment below what has worked well for you. The Walker Tracker community will appreciate your advice. For you seasoned two-wheel travelers, share your tips, too–you’re the experts!
Michel – Customer Support
I’ve been commuting on a bike for a long time. I can’t remember thinking of another option. I enjoy bike riding, so, a work commute is another excuse to take a ride. My bike ride is about 5 miles – one way. It may seem long at first but once you get going you don’t want to stop.
Tip: Be Safe, Travel on Bike Lanes.
I strap in some ear buds (only one ear bud because two is unsafe) and let Google Maps guide me to my destination. The path it takes me on seems somewhat roundabout – but trust Google! Google optimizes your route and puts you on bike paths and greenways so that you don’t have to deal with car commuters. Eventually, you will memorize the route and won’t have to let Google track your every pedal.
Must-Have Gear: After a Helmet, bike fenders are a must have. They protect you and your bike from all the grime that flings off your tires.
Emily – Customer Success
I have been biking to work since I started at Walker Tracker, about 9 months. But I have always enjoyed riding my bike. I like that I am able to admire the beauty of my neighborhood and get my body warmed up at the start of my day. It also helps to clear my head at the end of the day.
Tip: Check Your Tires Regularly
This tip actually comes from my dad, who taught me everything I know about riding a bike. Check your tires at the end of your ride or day for pieces of glass, especially if you have thin tires; you don’t want the glass to wedge its way into the tire and cause a flat.
Must-Have Gear: Bright lights – be seen and safe! I also have an extra light on my backpack.
Jill – Marketing
I’ve been bike commuting for about 15 years and ride my bike nearly every day. It all started in college when I realized it took about the same amount of time to get to class on my bike as it did driving my car. But on my bike, I didn’t have to fight for a parking space! I have the same motivation today as I did then. Plus it’s an invigorating way to start and end my day.
Tip: Take 5 Minutes, Register Your Bike
Bike theft is a sad reality of bike commuting. Bike Index is a free registration service that alerts community users if you indicate your bike has been stolen. If a bike shop or law enforcement agency encounters a stolen bike, they use Bike Index to reconnect the bike with its owner. I have many friends who had their bikes returned because they took 5 minutes to register it on Bike Index.
Must-Have Gear: USB rechargeable bike lights are where it’s at! Portland Design Works has some great options.
Blanca – Customer Success
My parents commuted by bike from when I was a small child up until a few years ago so you’d think I would always default to this option – not the case. The Winters here are wet and chilly and I haven’t bought all the gear that would make me comfortable so it isn’t until Spring that I’m back on the bike daily. When the end of Fall runs around I’ll likely alternate with public transit but until then it is glorious to ride to work! Right now I’m on a 15-day streak and feeling pretty great.
Tip: Pick the Best Day and Pace Yourself
Your first commute should be on the most lovely day possible. Check the weather and wear clothing you can layer on/off depending on how warm you get. If you know someone with a car bike rack you could ask for a ride home if one-way felt like enough for day 1. Pick your path and give yourself plenty of time so that you can make an unexpected stop to take in the view.
Must-Have Gear: Confession, I spent many years cycling without wearing a helmet. Now I can’t leave home without it. Riding a bike is both purposeful and fun, make sure to keep it that way by staying safe. Invest in a good helmet. I like the kind with a little visor to keep the sun and sprinkles out of my eyes.
We’d love to hear your cycling stories and commuter tips. Please comment below or share this article with your friends and co-workers.