Or Day 4 in getting ready to ride your bike again
Signup HERE to join me and other local community leaders, including Councillor Shawn Nason, for a ride on Bike To Work Day – Monday June 17.
I like adventure, finding new places and experiencing new things. But, when starting to ride a new place there are some tools available to us to help us avoid busy roads and and difficult situations.
- Google Maps
- City bicycling map
- Local experts
- Practice rides during lower traffic times
Google Maps: Did you know you can turn on a setting to show you the bike routes? They show up as green squiggly lines. And, if you set Google Maps to give you turn by turn directions you can have an ear bud in one ear (2 ear buds is illegal in most places – plus you can’t hear the traffic noise around you), you can have the navigator tell you when and where to turn.
City Bicycling Map: In Winnipeg we have an annual map that is available in most bikes shops to help you find the best routes. Take some time to study where the route will take you so that if you are riding you do not have to keep stopping to check where you are on your phone. Plus, your driving or bus route is unlikely to be the best route for you by bike.
Local Experts: stop in at your local bike shop or find an online riding group and ask for their opinions. It’s likely that you’ll discover routes that are not listed and learn about construction or other temporary issues.
Practice rides: Get up early on Saturday or Sunday morning to try out the route. This way if you find places where bike routes are not as advertized or where roads are a bit narrower than you are comfortable with, you’re not under time pressure to get there.
Remember, there are many good reasons to commute by bicycle but if you do not feel safe, you are unlikely to continue. A little pre-planning can make all the difference.
In the end, the only way to get comfortable is to get out and ride. Take small risks and small steps.
Finally, if you’re in Winnipeg this summer, why not come with me for a tour of the routes along the river. I’ve got a nifty AirBnB Experience that could help you grow in your confidence to ride. (Or you could give your out of town guests a truly Winnipeg two wheeled experience while you take a breather).