We all do our best to stay in shape, especially now that summer weather is upon us and we’re all feeling the need to get our bodies bikini ready for our summer vacations. But getting into shape is just one of the reasons why cycling to work in the summer (and all year round, really) is a great idea. Your bicycle is not only your greatest beauty accessory, it’s also an opportunity to improve your mental health, get a handle on work-related stress and battle the blocks on your productivity. Not only will cycling keep your body trim, it will give you the burst of endorphins and dopamine that you need to start your day the best possible way, and even aid your concentration throughout a busy day. Plus, the feeling of sailing effortlessly past a line of nose to tail cars on a busy road is nothing short of glorious!
Cycling to work may have myriad benefits, but it also comes with its own caveats. If we’re not careful we can develop bad habits which can have us turning up for work, red-faced panting sweaty and exhausted at best and endanger our health at worst. If you aim to cycle to work every day it’s up to you to break these bad habits…
Listening to music
Music, audiobooks, and podcasts can be a welcome companion on the busy road to work in the morning, but when you drive to work, you’re encased in metal, plastic and glass. When you cycle, while you may have a better range of vision, you’re also more vulnerable. Your ability to hear oncoming traffic is an important part of hazard perception on a bike and when you ride with earphones in you increase your risk of injury. While an accident lawyer may be able to help you if you’re hit by a negligent driver, they may not be able to help if you failed to perceive an avoidable hazard. Keep the earphones out for a safe commute.
Hugging the curb
Nascent cyclists may feel the need to hug the curb to allow cars to overtake them more easily and while this is considerate of them it can actually create more hazards than it avoids. Drivers may be tempted to overtake you even when it is unsafe to do so and if you hug the curb you will have less room to maneuver if you encounter a hazard from a pothole to a possum.
Letting your tires go soft
Bike tires should be inflated regularly. If left to go soft they can at best make your commute to work harder and at worst prove downright dangerous. Soft tires will drag on the road, wasting your energy and lengthening your journey. But they will also make cornering harder and become more vulnerable to punctures.
Racing other cyclists
While the competitive amongst you may feel tempted to overtake other cyclists and keep well in front of them, doing this isn’t necessarily “winning”. If anything you’re more likely to turn up for work sweaty and out of breath.
Not exactly a win by my book.