Bikes are a great alternative to driving. They are economical, environmentally-friendly, can help you get fit and definitely more fun than being sardined in the train or stuck in a jam. Setting off earlier in the morning when its cooler really makes for a pleasant and more leisurely commute. With a little forward preparation and the proper gear, your bike commute might even become the best part of your day!
Rack it up
For a daily commute, a bike with a rack is the most practical. Luggage or pannier bags offer practical storage to transform your bike into a true sport utility vehicle. Alternatively, a good backpack will also do the job of helping you haul stuff such as clothes, laptops or groceries, if you don’t mind a weight on your back.
Fend off the elements
Fenders will keep you clean and dry when road conditions are less-than-perfect. Nothing worse than showing up for work or school with a wet stripe of shame down your back. I simply love the simplicity of these – Ass Savers!
Light the way
In addition to keeping you more visible and safe, lights extend your riding hours after dark.
Never get tired
Keep going with low-profile slicks that are puncture-resistant. Schwalbe offers an extensive range of excellent tires for commuters.
Lock and load
Have a good quality lock handy in case you need to nip into a shop or building for a minute. Depending on what you pay, you can get a lock suitable for temporarily parking your bike anywhere between grandma’s house and the ghetto parts of Geylang.
Essentials for the ride
Put a seat bag on your bike with these items for peace of mind:
- a lightweight and versatile multi-tool
- tire levers to fix a flat (learn how in our Bike Maintenance workshops)
- pump or CO2 cartridge (make sure you know how to use them)
- spare tube(s) (make sure it’s new and fits your tire size. Carry more than one if you can because as kiasu people say ‘two is one and one is none’)
- money, ID and of course, your phone
Enjoy your ride!
p.s. Local cycling advocate and ‘cyclo-commuter’ Calvin Boo has written an excellent super-comprehensive guide to commuting by bike in Singapore. Read it here!