June is Colorado Bike Month and Bike to Work Day is Wednesday, June 26th. Everyday around 10,000 people bike to work in Denver. This year, they are expecting that over 30,000 Coloradans will take on the challenge of riding to work. If you are going to be one of the participants taking on this challenge, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind.
Safety First: In Colorado, bikers have to obey the same rules of the roads as drivers do. Biking next to cars can be scary at first but if you’re wearing the proper gear, injuries can be prevented. Statistics show that most bike accident fatalities are caused by bikers not wearing helmets. In fact, wearing a helmet can reduce the severity of a head injury by 88%. Always remember to wear your helmet and use proper signals when turning to let the cars around you know to avoid injury.
Hydration is Key: Especially in the hot summer months, it’s important to drink as much water as possible. When your exercising outdoors, it’s even more important to keeps those hydration levels up. Make sure to drink water before, during and after your ride to work. Keep a water bottle attached to your bike at all times and even a hydration pack for easy access as you ride. There will be plenty of food and water stations out for you to stop at and even get a quick tune up if needed. For a list of stations and to map out your ride, check out the Bike to Work Day Site.
Be Prepared: Bring a change of clothes and lunch to work the day before to help lessen the load you’ll be carrying on your ride. Especially if you don’t frequently ride into work, you’ll want to have your bike be as light as possible. Knowing that your meals are ready to go after a hard workout and where the showers are located in your office will take a lot of stress off of you on the day of. If you do have to bring a change of clothes, keep them in zip lock bags to avoid getting any sweat or water on them during your ride.
Check the Weather: In Colorado, we tend to have cooler mornings and warmer afternoons. Make sure to bring a light jacket for your morning ride and breathable sweat wicking clothing on your ride home. If you are new to bike riding, there are compression shorts that have a bit of padding in the glute area to relieve some of the pain from sitting on a bike seat for a longer period of time. Shorts or pants that are tight around the ankle are also recommended so that they don’t get caught up in the bike chain. Lastly, the brighter color of clothing, the better. This way, other commuters and motorists can clearly see you to avoid accidents.
Enjoy the Ride: The most important thing is to have fun on this ride. There will be plenty of other riders out and it’s a great time to meet people and meet the local organizations and sponsors in the community. Take in the beautiful scenery that Colorado has to offer and enjoy a day outside of traffic!