Commuting: A Piece of Cake (Recipe Included!)

Commuting: A Piece of Cake (Recipe Included!)

IF YOU ARE HERE FROM TEAM GREEN’S 5/11/15 eNEWSLETTER, WE MEANT TO LINK YOU TO HERE!

In the Fall of 2012 Davidson County was inducted into the League of American Cyclists “Bronze Level” award category among the nation’s Bike-Friendly communities. To many of us Nashvillians, this comes as no shock. We’ve all seen the growing greenways, bike lanes, and bike routes sprout up all over our beautiful city. In 2008, Mayor Karl Dean formed the first Nashville Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and has invested $7 million in these bike-friendly infrastructures, and it’s paying off. Our city’s most recent bike share program, Nashville B-cycle, took root in December 2012 and already has over 825 active annual members!

One thing is for sure: It’s a good thing we have these amazing bike-friendly infrastructures in place, because cycling in Tennessee is no easy task! In comparison to some of our nation’s most notorious bike-friendly communities, Middle Tennessee is inundated with hills! Fortunately, this is as much an advantage as it is a disadvantage. That is to say, Middle Tennessee cyclists get fit fast! With the beautiful farm-scapes, babbling creeks and rivers, and easy access to the 444 mile long Natchez Trace Parkway, it’s easy to lose ourselves in the ride and forget how great of a workout we’re getting.

So, in honor of Bike Month (May), we challenge all Team Greeners to get on a bike at least once!

If you haven’t been on a bike since you were 12, rent a Nashville B-cycle and go on an easy urban ride! Team Green has a Beginner Friendly Urban Bike Ride scheduled for Sunday, May 18th at the Music Row B-station!

If you have your own bike, but haven’t been on it in a while, get it tuned up and take it for a spin! Warner Park now allows mountain bikes on their trails, and Team Green has a Beginner Mountain Bike Ride on Wednesday, May 14th at Warner Park!

If you live anywhere from 1-15 miles from your office, consider commuting to work at least once this month! May 16th is Bike to Work Day. Walk Bike Nashville is organizing community rides all over Davidson County that day, and the Mayor’s office is hosting breakfast at the courthouse for all participants! You can get your whole office involved!

I personally commute 21 miles via bike to work, once each week. After quite a bit of trial-and-error, I’ve finally come up with a pretty good recipe for a successful commute. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • Bike
  • Bike Helmet
  • 100 calories for every 45 minutes on your bike (1 GU= 100 calories)
  • 2 sources of hydration (2 water bottles or a hydration bag & bottle)
  • Bike Bag (multi tool, spare tube, CO2 Cartridge & inflator, tire levers)
  • Sunblock & Sunglasses
  • Change of clothes & Toiletries
  • Access to a shower (or not… it’s up to you!)
  • Friends/Family/Co-Workers who know your route plan
  • Post Ride Recovery Drink (I really like the Bolthouse Mocha Cappuccino!)

Prep Steps

  1. Consider packing a duffle bag with your change of clothes and toiletries. Drop this bag off at work the day before your commute, or get bike panniers to carry your stuff en route.
  2. Make sure you have a nutrition plan waiting for you at work (protein drink, banana, yogurt, etc). Commuting to work is no different than hitting the gym before work. You’ll need to refuel, or you’ll lose steam mid-day!
  3. Get your bike ready the night before. Inflate your tires, fill your water bottles, pick out your nutrition options for the ride, and set out your cycle clothing. Getting this out of the way the night before makes for a stress-free morning for your commute.
  4. Make sure you have your id, insurance card, some cash, and a credit/debit card with you on your ride.
  5. Make sure that a family member or co-worker knows your plan to commute. Share your route with them.

Additional Tips

  1. If this is your first time riding in to work, map your route on a website like MapMyRide or Ride with GPS, to ensure you’re using the most bike-friendly directions. On a weekend before your commute, ride the route and see how long it takes. Change your route if there’s anything you don’t like about it. Remember, the roads will be busier on your way into work!
  2. Once you know the time it’ll take you to commute into work, add an additional 5-10 minutes “just in case” you get a flat tire. Then, add another 30-60 minutes so you have time to change your clothes and shower up once you get to work.
  3. Remember that Cyclists are legally recognized as “vehicles” on the road. This means you need to ride in the same direction as traffic; stop at all stoplights/stop signs; use hand signals to communicate your turns; have visible front and rear lights on your bike.
  4. If you have a bike, but don’t know how to change out your tire or fix your chain, visit your local bike shop. They’ll show you the quick and easy “need to know” skills, and most of them will offer classes that you can attend. Team Green often posts workshops hosted by REI Brentwood.
  5. Check out Team Green’s Road Cycling and Mountain Biking checklists.
  6. Take a post-ride selfie and #BikeMonth when you tweet @TeamGreenAdvntr

Keeley BikeMonth

-Keeley Puncochar (Team Green Adventures Director)

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