This is a post by Andreas Kambanis who runs a blog, London Cyclist, about cycling and London.
I started commuting into work by bike in the same way I do many things in life. With little or no plan! The way I look at it is if there is anything I need to learn I’ll soon figure it out along the way. Here are 5 of the lessons I soon picked up.
When I first started bike commuting I had just moved to London for a new job. It was my first day in that job so I found my route on Google Maps and looked at it once. This was a major error.
After a good start I forgot the route and took a wrong turn. Then another wrong turn. And another. I somehow ended up on Oxford Circus. One of the busiest, most horrible roads for cyclists in London.
After a quick call to my new boss who I had yet to meet I confirmed I would be late for my first day at work.
Lesson learned: Plan the route ahead and do a test run.
2. There are some things you shouldn't economize on
I noticed something on all the other bikes parked at office that my bike was lacking. They all had massive U-locks. I looked at my weak bike lock and realized a thief could probably chew through it with their teeth. A couple of days later I made sure I got myself to the nearest bike shop and purchased a proper bike lock.
Lesson learned: Spend as much as you can on a good bike lock. It is worth it for all the effort and money you will save by preventing theft.
3. A little maintenance goes a long way
I made all the maintenance mistakes you can possibly make. I over lubricated my chain, I didn't keep my bike clean and I didn't replace my break pads until they wore through my wheel rims. I caused a lot of damage to that poor bike. After a while I replaced it with a new one and pledged to learn bike maintenance.
Lesson learned: Learn the basics to bike maintenance as it will give you a much smoother, more enjoyable bike ride and will make your bike last longer.
4. Local bike shop
It is worth building up a relationship with a local bike shop so they can help you out at a time of need. I have since got to know my local bike shop owner so whenever I head in there to buy something new I can ask some advice on any maintenance problems I’m having.
Stop in The Bicycle Shop for you commuting needs, we can help you carry your "stuff" plus it keep it dry and you safe!
Check out this link on our Facebook page for a cool looking commuter bike. https://www.facebook.com/TheBicycleShopInc/photos/a.430100845387.208054.42308040387/10152718888155388/?l=332370cdb1