Cycling is one of the simplest ways to reduce your carbon footprint and a great way to exercise. It is increasingly becoming the norm for more and more city dwellers – but far from enough!. And now that we are moving into the cooler fall months – errands and visits on bikes can be more pleasant and allow you to arrive at your destination not all hot and sweaty.
The recent global recession and the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico have cause some people to do a double-think when it comes to finding a smart, sustainable transportation alternative.
Town or city bikes are specifically built for everyday use along urban thoroughfares where distances are short and over a flat terrain. While all town bikes are created for the same general purpose, they’re not all the same. Factors to consider when deciding which type of bike is best for you are:
- Frame structure and material
- Brakes (always important!)
- Bike Height
- Bike’s Age and Condition
Your bike should be comfortable enough for you to ride often, handy for quick access, and durable enough to last for a few years between needing a tune-up (which can be unexpectedly expensive). Also, get a heavy duty key lock to deter some knucklehead from tampering with your bike. U shape Krytonite locks are my favorite, because its easy one and off. Zip-zip away you go through traffic, smiling all the way.
If you are lucky enough to be in a city with a built-out bike-share program like Washington DC, Toronto, Seattle, you can probably postpone that bike purchase and sign-up to use one of their great city bikes whenever you need it. The best part is riding past all those cars stuck in traffic.
Pedaling Will Reduce Your Carbon Footprint, But The Right Tools Help
Get A Good Basket – Keeping your hands free is critical. There are all sorts of options online and at your local bike shop. Look for either front handle bar detachable baskets that can serve as a shopping basket, or rear wheel collapsible baskets that can hold bulky items. Also, comfortable backpack can be invaluable on errands. These options are popular with our staff:
- Sunlite Mesh Basket, Nantucket Bicycle Basket, Retrospec Cane “Toto” Basket, Schwinn Quick Release Wire Basket, or Bushwhacker Rear Pair of Bags.
Get a Good Lock – The new really thick cable combination locks work well. These are flexible and there’s no key to lose. Just set the combo to your birth-date for memory ease. These options are popular with our staff:Kryptonite Lock with 4-Foot Flex Cable, Etronic Combination Cable with Lock, or Cocoweb U-Lock with Flex Loop Cable. And the ultimate, never have to worry about your bike lock – Kryptonite Keeper Integrated Chain Lock.