5 Tips on How to Ride to Work Stress-Free

Want to cycle to work but feel like it’s all just too much effort? We reveal our tips to help make your commute less stressful.  

Riding to work is cheaper than driving or taking public transport. It also helps you avoid morning traffic jams, gets you outdoors and increases your weekly pedal count. Plus, it adds to your quota of that wonderful thing called ‘incidental exercise’.

We get some experienced cyclists to offer their tips for when you come to those mental red lights (wet weather, not having the right gear and so on), so you can have a low-stress commute.

1. Start slowly

In the early days, one or two rides a week is a nice intro. Then you can add more days as you build your bike fitness.

2. Map your ride

Before you set off on that first bike commute, take some time to plan your trip. “Utilise the bike feature on Google Maps to plan a safer route to work,” suggests Alexandra Bright from Cycling Australia. “Look for shared pathways and bike-friendly roads, as well as roads with plenty of shoulder or designated bike lanes.”

If you live far from work why not drive to a halfway mark and park your car before riding the last leg?

3. Dress code

In colder weather, opt for layers you can remove as you warm up, and don’t forget a windbreaker to protect you from chilly breezes. During the warmer seasons wear a loose T-shirt or a singlet with shorts for good ventilation. Many cyclists choose to wear lycra for long rides, but it’s not mandatory. 

“Investing in a couple of good-quality items can make every ride more enjoyable: gloves for cold mornings and a brightly coloured spray jacket for light rain,” says Peter Bourke from peak body Bicycle Industries Australia.

Experienced cyclists often have an arsenal of gear to help protect them from the elements when riding. “I ride with a backpack that has a waterproof cover built into the bag just in case it gets wet,” says international cycling champion, Jason English

Think safety, too, when choosing cycling gear: bright colours, and neon or reflective strips will make you more visible to drivers. 

Bright colours, and neon or reflective strips will make you more visible to drivers.

commuting cycling woman

4. Crinkle-free clothing plan

Transporting corporate wear can be challenging. But packing an iron seems, well, daft.

“Try rolling instead of folding; pack your clothes in a solid container in your bag so they don’t get crushed and pick clothing materials that are wrinkle-resistant,” Bourke suggests.

It might be worth driving or catching the train one day a week with your week’s supply of ironed outfits to keep at the office, ready for changing into before work. 

5. Don't sweat it!

A workplace shower is an asset to cyclist commuters, but even if you don’t have one, it doesn’t mean you can’t cycle to work. “Keep a packet of baby wipes and some deodorant to freshen up and you’ll be good to go,” Alexandra says. Dry shampoo is another great toiletry for mopping up hair sweat.

If the thought of sweat puts you off riding, consider slowing the pace a notch or two. It’s still going to do a lot more for your health than sitting in a car each way.

After reading these expert tips you should be on your way to making the commute to work an enjoyable experience, and one that gets you fit in the process! 

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