As biking continues to grow in popularity, it’s not just weekend warriors getting out to enjoy the Midwest’s beautiful scenery — cycling has also become a popular way to commute to work! While our region’s winter temperatures don’t lend themselves to year-long outdoor travel, it’s an excellent idea in the summer and fall months.
Why Consider Biking to Work
According to the Federal Highway Administration, the average American household spends 25 percent of its income on car transportation costs. That includes gas and maintenance like oil changes and repairs. A quarter of your earnings is a hefty sum that could be better spent on a family vacation, a new addition to your home, or saved as extra money for retirement.
What’s more? Biking to work is a great way to fit in more exercise each day! Depending on your unique body, biking at a moderate speed can burn around 300 calories in 30 minutes. It’s excellent cardio and builds strength in your leg muscles all at once.
Preparing for a New Cycling Commute
Before hopping on two wheels, take a few simple steps to avoid accident or injury. Your safety comes first!
- Pick up a community map from your local tourist office to identify bike routes, lanes, and trails.
- Practice your route on the weekend — or drive it in your car at a slower pace than normal — to make sure it’s safe. Take note of anything that could pose difficulty to your bike, like uneven terrain or poor drainage from storms.
- Know the laws that apply to bikers and how to interact with motorists while sharing the road.
While on Two Wheels
- Use hand signals to indicate stops and turns for other bikers and motorists.
- Wear brightly colored clothing to increase visibility. If your day starts before the sun is fully up, equip both your torso and bike itself with visibility lights.
- Make eye contact with motorists so they know you are there and can anticipate your next move.
- Wear a helmet.
- Bring along a water bottle in case you get thirsty, especially on a hot day.
Learn more about bicycle commuting
There’s a whole community of avid bicyclists growing every day. Check out a few resources to get started below!
- League of American Bicyclists at bikeleague.org.
- Department of Transportation at www.dot.gov.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at nhtsa.gov.
Lindow Insurance has your back
Have questions about how biking (and therefore driving less) might affect your auto insurance coverage? Don’t hesitate to reach out to your hometown agent. We’re here to help you save time, money, and stress every step of the way.