I am fortunate to live about 5 miles from work and to have a bike path that is near my house and near my work. It takes me about 30 minutes to bike to work, so I leave about 15 minutes earlier than I usually do when I drive. Not only is it good for the environment, it is great for my health and keeps me fit. I get an hour of cardio in when I bike to work just for going to work and not really trying. I am not able to do this every morning at this point, but every little bit helps. Plus, now I can take advantage of my employer's transportation reduction incentive program that pays $1.50 each day I bike to work. So I save money on gas and I get paid. (Sure it is not much, but it is something!)
It is nice and cool in the mornings but I do get a little sweaty so I bring with me a change of clothes. I also keep a towel, baby wipes, deodorant, and make-up in my office to freshen up when I get into the office in the morning. It has worked out really well in the first week. I also keep a pair of shoes at work so that I have one less thing to carry with me on my commute.
There is actually quite a bit of information on the internet about bike commuters that is quite helpful. Here are some great tips I found from the Commute by Bike website (with some of my own commentary):
- Store hygienic necessities (e.g., deodorant, towels, wipes, etc) at the office - less stuff to carry back and forth
- Leave a pair of shoes at the office - then you won't have to transport it back and forth
- Take all your clothes for the week on Monday - I haven't done this yet but what a great tip especially if you only bike to work a few days. Drive to work on Monday with clothes for the week and you won't have to transport it with you on the days you bike to work.
- Always keep an extra set of clothes at the office - I need to do this. You never know when you might forget an essential item.
- Pack the night before - This is quite helpful so that you are not rushed and stress in the morning which may make you forget something important.