Yesterday I thought I'd start off sharing some ideas from my commuting experiences and today I would like to expand a bit upon that.
A couple of things that will help you get going and keep going are what is on the agenda for today.
More On Your Bike Choice: Commuting can be hard on a bike, so I don't like to use the "best" bike equipped with the "best" stuff that I have. Not that you can't, but if you commit to commuting, you will be putting your spendy bits through a wear cycle that will be a bit advanced in comparison to what you might normally do to a bike/parts like that. Replacement costs to upkeep your steed need to be thought about. Commuting by definition means a bicycle that is reliable every day. You don't want the worst bits hanging from your frame, but you also may not want the very best either. Something to think about. Me? I use a single speed because it is dead reliable, resists fouling from the elements, and wears a lot longer than a derailleured bike.
More On Your Route: One of the things I noticed, and a topic that came out of yesterday's post, was that of familiarity. What I mean is that if you use the same route, at the same time, everyday, you will notice patterns in things, if you pay attention. The way traffic lights work, (or don't), is one thing. You might find that some are rotating through signals at a steady rate. Others may not be triggered until a car comes up to the intersection. Some lights may be odd and random. I have all three types on my route. (I'll get into more specifics on this later). Other things you might notice are commuters in cars that you see every day. Busses, trucks, or pedestrians. It will be a good idea to make eye contact with these folks at a minimum. A wave and a smile can pay dividends later. Why? Because folks will notice you, #1, and then they will get familiar with you. Less cars, trucks, busses, and pedestrians to get ticked off at you. In fact, some of them may even start looking out for you!
More On Clothing: Layers folks. Layers! Many thin layers will keep you warmer on the cold days of commuting. I like to do a "base layer". It doesn't have to be an "actual base layer" from a sporting goods store, but those are certainly viable. Silk undershirt are pretty good, but a cotton t-shirt will do for a short-ish commute of ten miles or less in most cases. Next, I like something wool. Thin wool shirts, wool jerseys, or wool sweaters, if they are not too heavy, will do just fine. Then I like a wind breaker, rain jacket, or some outerwear that resists the wind. Good to go! But you should experiment, and again, you don't have to use cycling specific stuff. Make it easy!