- Written by Carole Nash Editor
- Created: 13 June 2014
So you've decided to join the two-wheel club and embrace Ride to Work Week? Great choice.
Commute to work by bike and you'll soon realise why 1.3 million people across the globe choose to do the same. Ditch those busy buses, endless car queues and crammed underground carriages and ride to work happy.
Take note of these following commuting tips and become a motorcycling master of the roads:
Prepare in advance
Unfortunately, it's not just a case of unearthing your bike, dusting off the seat and venturing into the sunrise. You need to make sure you've prepared both you and your bike for commuting. This means buying the right gear, figuring out one or two routes and giving your bike a check-up, especially if it hasn't been ridden in a while. If you plan on riding your bike to work for the foreseeable future, make sure you check tyre pressure and wear on a regular basis.
We realise that this sounds cautious, but adopting this frame of mind means that you'll treat everything on the road as a possible hazard, which will make you more alert. Don't let familiarity turn into complacency: if you find yourself getting used to a particular route you still need to be aware of everything around you at all times.
During your commute you should prepare for other drivers to make mistakes (and you may make one or two, as well). Learn to accept that mistakes do happen and you could encounter a few each week. You can't prevent them, but preparing for them means you won't have to deal with the consequences of someone else's slip-up.
Be wary of gadgets
Talk to any keen motorbike commuter and they'll tell you that concentration is key to travelling safely. If you're not used to commuting by bike, be weary of items that may distract you. For instance, it's a good idea to familiarise yourself with a route instead of relying on a GPS system for the whole duration of the journey, as looking down at your tech means your eyes are not on the road.
Be wary of vehicles and people
The majority of bikers would agree that the greatest dangers to motorcyclists are larger vehicles. With this in mind, it's vital to make sure you're seen at all times, which means steering clear of drivers' blind spots. Keep an eye on any tell-tale signs of sudden movement from a vehicle. Indicators, large gaps and turning wheels all suggest that a vehicle is going to move position, so make sure you're prepared for it.
You should also be extra-vigilant of pedestrians, especially in built-up areas. If you're navigating through traffic, always watch out for people stepping out onto the road from behind parked vehicles.
Image: Rob Wilson / Shutterstock.com