We asked a while ago on our Facebook page to share your best bike commuting tips. Some have been riding to work for over 20 years, some just started last year, but all have great info to share. Between them, they’ve racked up thousands of miles in hot weather, snow, sleet, and plenty of rain, and their advice can be game-changing if you’ve been considering cycle-commuting, or just want to take your commutes to the next level.
Commuter Expert: Mia Moore of Chicago, Illinois
Moore learned to commute in San Francisco 16 years ago, but today finds herself speeding to work and class in the mean streets of Chicago on a Keirin track bike she’s modified over the years. She’s settled into a group of commuter buddies who aim to be at the office 10 minutes ahead of start time. Leaving this early, she says, means the vibe of the commute is more laid back.
“I like to leave a little extra time so that I can commute at my own chill speed and be less bothered by the harried energy of the rest of the commuters—both bike and car,” says Moore. “If I leave with the group that is planning to slide into work just at nine, or the group that is five minutes late. I prefer to be more relaxed about my commuting and save my racing for racing and group rides.”
Commuter Expert: Leslie Ethridge of Boulder, Colorado
After moving to Boulder a year ago, Ethridge started riding to work. While Colorado’s harsh winters provided the Austin, Texas native with a learning curve, she seldom misses a day of bike commuting and really loves to ride with company.
“My co-workers think I’m insane for riding sixteen miles in, but it is actually what keeps me sane,” she says. “There is no right way to commute. You can ride with a comfy backpack and your ‘cross bike. You can ride with panniers on the front or the back. I got through the winter by my best friend riding in with me to work. It was a blessing, suffering together. She would drop me off and then go do her base miles. Now, my boyfriend and I will commute in together and he drops me off and then goes to work. I’ll go swing by his job and we will ride home. It’s awesome.”
Commuter Expert: Kenny Fetsurka of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Before spending eight years commuting to a 9-to-5 job in Philadelphia, Fetsurka was a bike messenger in the city and made his living by, he says, not being deterred by flat tires. He also didn’t have a car, so whether he would bike to work was never a question when he scored a job in—ironically—the Streets Department as a highway inspector.
“If your bike has the eyelets and ability to have full fenders, go for it!” he says. “It’s the best bang for your buck in keeping you dry on the bike, and some decent tires with flat protection. And always have a spare tube or two and the stuff for a roadside flat-fix!” (A mudguard is a good plan B if your bike doesn’t have space for full fenders.)