Bike commuting is possible. However, I am not going to lie: bike commuting can be a challenge. Scratch that. It is a challenge. Now, maybe I’m biased. I’ve got some chronic anxiety, and I’m “relatively” high maintenance. My boyfriend seems fine just tossing a messenger bag over his shoulder and pedaling off, but for me, nothing seems to go that easily. Messenger bags throw off my balance and pull at my breasts. No fun.
I was very careful when choosing my bike, and I believe I made the best decision for my needs and price range. It’s step-through, so I can wear a skirt (and I even wore a skirt to the shop to test it out), flat pedals for diverse footwear, fenders, a front basket, a comfy seat, and upright handlebars.
I want to “trick it out” further, of course. I have a rear rack, and I want to add it, but there’s a twist: apparently the hub that allows you to change gears is just in the way of me screwing in the part of the rack that mounts in the middle of the wheel. Unfortunately, I may have to go back to the bike store to get that worked out, though I was hoping to do the work myself the other day.
I already own some bags in different sizes, which I may clip onto the rack, and I purchased a deep basket, which will be perfect for carrying shopping bags and work-related items. For now, I’m using my backpack, which is imperfect because it makes my back hurt and causes me to sweat more than I would if riding freely.
I’ve taken to carrying a packet of makeup wipes with me for cleaning my face and other sweaty bits once I’ve reached work. I’ve always got to have my lock with me, and I’m looking for a good way to attach it to my bike rather than carrying it in the basket. I bring an extra pair of shoes to work because I don’t want to ruin my good shoes on the road or wear heels on the bike. I do not currently have a water-bottle holder, which is fine for my work commute, but this does cause me to forget to bring water on longer trips.
If there were a shower at work, I’d be in heaven. For now, though, I’m happy that there’s a bike rack in a not-so-busy area, and the door leads straight to the bathroom and water fountain so I can freshen up before heading to my desk.
I was surprised to find that biking really didn’t take much extra time–maybe five minutes, eight if I miss the light–but getting into work mode afterward will take more practice, and I should really leave home earlier so I don’t get so stressed. Biking slowly on a cool day has got to yield less sweat, right? I’ll test the theory and get back to you.
Last, I highly recommend Headsweats headbands. These little suckers are lightweight and thin, but man do they ever soak up the sweat. These are a must for the workout, the commute, the whatever. One day, everyone will rock one again, just like in the 80s.