So far I have covered getting a bike and helmet for your commute and tips for planning your route. Now that we made it to work I will be exploring a few aspects in regards to your facilities to make your commute a bit easier.
In this installment of quick tips to get bike commuting I am hoping to present some questions that you would need answers to make your bike commute a success. Technically, I guess, you should have looked at these things before you rode to work! Some of this information varies depending on the length of your commute. My commute is a little almost 11 miles to work.
Before I rode to work my thought was what am I going to wear to ride? Since I was comfortable riding in jerseys and bib shorts being a guy who has ridden a lot of road miles, I decided that would be what I wear to commute. It is not necessary but it does make a longer commute more comfortable, especially if you have the ability to change clothes once you get to work. This meant that I would have to change clothes at work because I could not nor would I want to wear my riding clothes all day.
I know that I scoped these things out before I decided to ride to work. I spoke with one of my managers and she pointed me in the right direction to get some answers. Since I was riding almost 11 miles one way, I wanted to be able to shower when I got to work. I know of some people who have short enough commutes that they ride in their everyday clothes. I could not really imaging riding in business casual almost 11 miles. I find it easier to change. I found that my work has a YMCA Express in the building but the showers are outside of the YMCA so that means I do not have to have a membership to use the showers.
Another question is how am I going to get myself clean and presentable for work? I put some clothes, towel, deodorant, soap, towel & washcloth in a locker and lock it in the locker. I have not been asked to move it yet (thank goodness). I usually bring fresh underclothes the day I ride. During the summer when I am riding on a more regular basis I would bring all of this stuff in when I drove in (once a week, due to meeting schedules) and take it home when I drove just because it made life easier.
A third question would be where am I going to park? I found that the place to park my bike was an unattached bike rack near the smokers hangout. The only benefit was that it is monitored by security. I was not excited about this less than secure place to park. One time when it was raining, I brought my bike inside and a security guard said that I could not leave it there. I asked someone and found a great place to park. I now park it in a computer lab that people log into for training. So there is no people (usually) in the lab and it is climate controlled and very secure!
I greatly enjoy the days I bike commute for a multitude of reasons but one of them is the excellent parking spot!
Now that we know what our facilities are like at work, next time we’ll explore “How do I get my stuff to and from work?”
This is part of my Quick Tips for Bike Commuting series. You can find the table of contents post here.