So you're thinking about riding your bike to work. You've come to the right place! I created this site because I like commuting to work on a bicycle, and think more people should try it. I am not a bike fanatic -- that is, I am not one of those people who rides a $2,000 bike, weighs 135 pounds and wears colorful spandex and funny shoes every time I saddle up. In fact, I ride a pretty ordinary hybrid bike, am a bit overweight, and prefer old T-shirts and shorts to spandex.
I think it's a good idea to dispel a few myths about bicycle commuters.
Firstly, you don't have to be a physical fitness nut, or one of these superhuman, cycling freaks who gets up at 5 am every Saturday morning to do a 100-mile tour in the rain for fun. Ordinary people of practically any age or build can easily manage a five-mile commute, even if they haven't ridden in years. You can even be overweight (I'm speaking from experience here) although after a few months of regular commutes you will be pleasantly surprised to find your waistline decreasing and your legs getting very toned up!
Secondly, you don't need an expensive bicycle made of super-strong lightweight alloys, or one of those low-slung contraptions which some hard-core commuters use. Practically any reliable bike lying around your garage will do. In terms of extra gear, you'll need a helmet that fits (US$30-$70), a good bike lock (US$30), and panniers (US$50 - US$150), if you intend on carrying your work outfit or other stuff. Rear-mounted panniers also require some kind of rack, but most mountain bikes and hybrids come with these, or they can be purchased and installed at a local bike shop. I also recommend getting a few safety-related items: a bell (US$10) to let people know you are coming up behind them (bells are required in some places, such as Ontario) and rear and front flashing lights (US$10 apiece), if it gets dark early or you have to stay late at work.
Thirdly, choosing to bike to work doesn't mean you are obliged to do so every day. If the weather looks bad, it's too cold, or you just don't feel like riding because it's a Friday, then leave the bike at home and take the bus. I have a few rules of thumb that I use when considering whether to ride: if it's raining, or the roads are slick, or I can easily see my breath on a cold morning, I don't ride. The cold factor basically limits most of my bike commutes to between mid-April and mid-October, and the other factors limit my rides to about three or four days per week, on average.
If all this sounds reasonable to you, read on. Read the bike worker profile page to see if you meet some specific criteria which will help determine if commuting on a bike is right for you. I also have health and gear pages, as well as a page that addresses issues related to time -- i.e., how long does it take it get to work? And finally, a "no excuses!" page ... read this if you need a mental kick in the shorts to get started!