Bike Commuter Journal – Secret to Success

Friday, June 13 by JerryFoster

240435_10150273536645281_5070947_oPlease welcome Brian Clissold as our guest commuter this week, a trustee of the WWBPA and a resident of East Windsor. A version of this post appeared on his blog, Roadmaestro. Brian, what’s your secret?

Here it is?wait for it?.wait for it???CONSISTENCY!!

Yep, that?s it. That?s my big piece of advice for folks who want to commute by bike. Just like any other lifestyle change, it?s the act of doing it over and over, until it becomes routine, that makes it part of your life.

Now, it?s not that easy. ?Sticking with it? is all rainbows and unicorns. What it really means is getting into the routine the night before, or even the week before, by packing clothes, packing lunches, mid-morning snacks (I always get hungry by 10 am when I commute), baby wipes, figuring out the timing, the logistics of parking, when you?re going to apply make up (if that?s necessary), bicycle maintenance, and what to do with all the extra cash you?ll be saving by not buying gas. Whew! It doesn?t sound so easy after all. If you?re content with just learning this concept and can figure out the details, you can be done reading now and go for a bike ride. If you need some more tips, read on.

My ride is just long enough that I prefer to ride in bike clothes rather than my work clothes. So, Sunday night I try to make sure I have enough bike clothes clean for the week. I also make sure I have a day or two of work clothes. The weekend is also when I do any touch up maintenance: pump up the tires, lube the chain, make any minor adjustments, etc. Lights get charged and fresh batteries as needed.

Each night I pack my bike bag (one rear pannier, or a bag that mounts to a rear rack on my bike) with the next day?s work clothes, hair goop, a towel, my headphones, reading material for the train. Much of this stuff just stays in the bag. I also bring in my thermos and water bottle from my bike, and make the coffee so it starts automatically in the morning.

In the morning, I shower, pack my pannier the rest of the way with my lunch, put on my bike clothes, fill my thermos and water bottle, turn on the lights, and head out. Once I reach the train station, I put my bike in its locker, go into the station and change into my work clothes, and get on the train. I take my stuff with me to the office so I can hang my clothes to dry. Also, I change back into my bike clothes in the train bathroom on the way home so I can get right on the bike and get home.

218258_10151193683475281_1200463028_o

So this is kind of a lot of work, but I?ve been doing this long enough now that it is more of a nuisance to change out of the routine than to stick with it. The rare days that I have to drive to work really throw me off now, both in terms of the routine and also in my mindset. Driving is such a headache!

I should definitely add that my routine is supported by my amazing wife Abbi, who helps me out in a variety of ways, such as putting away leftovers in single serve containers to make it easy to toss them in, doing laundry, and being generally supportive! Thanks Hunny!!

There are a million tips for bike commuters, especially for newbies. I highly recommend spending some time on the blog, bikecommuters.com There is lots of good stuff there, from equipment reviews to riding tips for bad weather.

Go pack your stuff and start to make riding to work part of your daily, weekly, and monthly routine. It is an amazing lifestyle choice!!

Thanks Brian – if you’d like to share your bike commuting stories, please email wwbikeped@gmail.com.

Comments Off on Bike Commuter Journal – Secret to Success

Bike Commuter Journal – To the Train Station, All Winter Long

Friday, April 11 by JerryFoster

Melinda bikePlease welcome another guest commuter, Melinda Posipanko, this week ? if you?d like to share your commuter experiences, contact us at wwbikeped@gmail.com.

I seem to have had this conversation with someone almost every day this winter:? Question: “Did you ride in today?”? My answer: “Yeah.? It wasn’t too bad out.” Reply: Either 1)”Wow”, 2)”You’re insane”, 3) “Impressive”, or 4) a sad shake of the head.

Now to be completely transparent, “riding in” for me means a 1.5 mile ride from my house to the Princeton Junction train station.? Not exactly a grueling bike commute.? And I’m nobody’s idea of a “cyclist”; more tortoise than hare and riding an el-cheapo bike I bought at Kmart 5 years ago.

Let me be clear.? I HATE COLD.? So why have I gotten layered-up every morning to bike commute?? It’s not a simple answer.? I’m not crazy (at least not completely), but I really love using my body to move itself from one place to another.? I ride my bike, I take the stairs when practical, and I usually take the easy-to-find far out parking space at the mall.? Moving my body feels good.? And even a short bike ride in the morning can make a huge difference in my overall energy level for the day.

It makes some practical sense, too.? It used to take me just about the same amount of time at the end of the day to walk to my permit parking space as it now takes for me to ride home.? I don’t have to clean off my car when it snows.? Now, I pay $22.50 /quarter to rent a bike locker instead of $120/quarter for a parking space.

But really, I think it’s mostly the sense of accomplishment I have when I make it to the train under my own power no matter what Mother Nature throws at me.? Me against the world…that sort of thing.?? I’m proud of the fact that I’ve driven into the station fewer than 10 times since October – and only then on days when the roads were clearly not safe.

And I’m obviously not alone.? I’ve seen bike riders and empty CitiBike stalls all over NYC even on the coldest days.

So I’ll continue to suit up and head out every day that I can.? And keep looking forward to spring!

A version of this post appeared in On the Move, the blog for the Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association.

Comments Off on Bike Commuter Journal – To the Train Station, All Winter Long

Archives

Categories

Tag Cloud

bicycle bicycle commuting bicycle safety Bicycle Tourism bicycling Bike/Ped Path bike commuter journal Bike Commuting bike lanes bike path bike racks bike ride bike safety biking Community Bike Ride Complete Streets crosswalk D&R Canal Downtown Princeton Junction East Coast Greenway Historic Bike Trail League of American Bicyclists Learn to BIke Livable Communities Main Street Mercer County mercer county bike commuting Mercer County Park multi-use trails National Bike Month NJDOT pedestrian pedestrian safety Plainsboro Princeton Princeton Junction train station Ride of Silence Route 571 safety sidewalks Smart Transportation speed limits traffic walking West Windsor

Upcoming Events

2020

Jan 9    Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

Feb 9 – Movie Night Sunday 3pm- check back for date and movie (snow date Feb 23)

Feb 13  Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

Mar 12 Annual Membership Meeting, public invited to attend, Special speakers TBD

Apr 9    Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

May (TBD) Opening Day for WWBPA at the WW Farmers Market

May 14  Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

Jun 11  Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

Jul 9      Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

Aug 13  Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

Sept 10  Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

Oct 8     Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

Oct 14   WWBPA participating in WWP School District Health Fair 2-6 pm.

Nov 12 Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

Feb 13  Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

Dec 10  Monthly Meeting 7 pm – WW Municpal Bldg (Rm D – Lower Level)

Become a Member/Donate

Pace Car Program

Ongoing – Register your bike with the WW Police Dept for Free

Volunteer Opportunities – Sign up to give back to the community

Now Accepting Applications for WWBPA Student Advisory Board

More Events »

Visit our Facebook Page

Follow us on Twitter

Google Group