Do you dream of skipping the downtown traffic to instead commute by bicycle through the trails or parks of the city, but you simply live too far from the office to make this a reality? The solution may be to combine commuting methods. This can keep you from having to drive in the city and giving you the benefit of regular daily exercise. You will even save on fuel costs and wear-and-tear to your vehicle. The following guide can help you the best way to implement your new commute.
Find a parking space
If you are combining a car and bike commute, you will need to find a parking space to drop off your car each morning. The best and least expensive scenario is if you have a friend or family member that lives closer to the office that will allow you to park on their property during the day. If this isn't possible, look for paid parking lots that rent by the month.
Consider the bus
Another option is to take the bus to a stop within biking distance of your office. You won't need to drive at all. If a bus doesn't pick up near your home, look to see if there is a park and ride option. Many transportation companies offer park and ride points to bring people from the suburbs into the city. Getting a bus pass has another benefit in that you can also take the bus all the way to the office on days when the weather isn't a great choice for biking in the morning, but you can still bring your bike with you in case you are able to bike home.
Figure out your bike rack
For many people, a bike rack is the method of choice when it comes to choosing the best way to transport the bike on your car. You can get a hitch mounted rack, which is the most stable and secure. It is a bit more expensive to install since a hitch will need to be added to your car's frame. Another option is a trunk mounted rack, which uses straps to attach to the trunk and can easily be moved to a new car as necessary. This type of rack isn't quite as secure, but it is less expensive.
Find the bike parking
The final challenge to making this work is to find out where you can park your bike. Many offices now offer bike racks outside. Others may have bike cages in their parking lot or parking garage. Cages are generally more secure, but you will need a sturdy lock for either option. If you don't have suitable bike parking or if you are worried about theft, consider a folding commuter bike. These bikes fold down so you can easily stow them in your office, perhaps behind the door or under your desk. As an added benefit, you can often slide a folding bike into your car's back seat, negating the need for a bike rack.
Visit a bike shop like Origami Bicycle Company for more help in planning and getting ready for your new commute.