There are thousands of people across the country who have ditched four wheels in favor of two. In fact, there are many who have given up their vehicles altogether and taken to commuting by bicycle everywhere they go.
People are giving up their cars for a variety of reasons. Some believe it will help fight pollution while others simply want to stay fit. Trading in a car or truck for a bicycle will undoubtedly save some people money and help them avoid traffic delays to boot. If you are one of the thousands who has gotten rid of your car or are one of the many who are considering doing so, there are some things you should know before you make the commute to work.
In most areas, including Miami, bicycles are considered vehicles. No, they aren’t powered by gas, but they are still moving objects that could potentially cause harm to someone else. If you ride your bike to work, remember that you are still legally taking a vehicle and your bike should be treated as such. The rules that govern the operation of motor vehicles on Florida’s roadways still apply to you.
Before you lace up your sneakers, plan your route carefully. Even though you are required to follow the rules of the road, you are not permitted to ride on highways. This means that you will have to stick to typical roads. Consider the distance you need to travel, the condition of the roads you will ride on and traffic volume. If there are several routes available to you, ride them on the weekends and choose the safest for your commute.
When you get where you are going, you will need to store your bike. Talk to your boss about bringing your bicycle inside with you. You may ask to leave it in your hallway, in your office or even in the stairwell. If your bike is to be placed where you can’t keep an eye on it, make sure that it is locked securely to an immobile object.
Are you wondering how you can stay clean riding to work? If your employer doesn’t have a shower you can use, you can still commute without smelling up the office, even on the hottest days. Put together a caddy of baby wipes, deodorant and hair products. You can “wash” yourself off with the wipes and get rid of helmet head as soon as you get to your desk.
Again, remember that you are legally bound by the laws that govern other vehicles. Ride with traffic instead of against it. This may seem counter-intuitive but it makes you more visible to cars. Make sure that you have working lights on your bike and keep them lit at all times.
Chances are that you won’t be wearing your best suit on your bike, so choose clothing that is light and bright. If you do wear your work clothes while commuting, place a piece of reflective tape across your chest and back and peel it off once you get to work. Don’t forget to toss the roll in your bag and tape yourself again before you head home.
Carrying the things you need for work can throw off your balance. If your bike isn’t equipped with a rack or basket, place what you need in a backpack. Wear the backpack correctly as you ride. Don’t be tempted to use only one shoulder strap. Your goal is to keep the weight of the pack evenly distributed over your back and to prevent the bag from slipping as you ride.
Like any other vehicle, proper maintenance can keep your bicycle running smoothly. Keep gears and your chain oiled, check your brakes frequently and keep an eye on your tire pressure. If your tires look worn, replace them. If you aren’t sure how to perform bicycle maintenance on your own, a local dealer can assist you.
Riding your bicycle to work is a good alternative to driving a traditional vehicle. You can save money on gas and insurance, you can get fit, and you can help save the environment while you’re at it. If you are thinking of commuting to work on your bike, don’t neglect to build your endurance gradually. This is especially important if you have miles to ride and haven’t pedaled a bike in years.
If you are injured in a bicycle accident in Miami, whether you are commuting to work or riding for pleasure, our team is here for you. Call our office today to learn about your options. You may be able to seek compensation for your injuries and any other monetary damages you have incurred. Call our office today or browse our website for more information about how our firm can assist you as you work to put the pieces of your life back together.