National Bike Month: How to Participate

May is National Bike Month, so we’re exploring ways to make commuting by bike easier and safer. Whether you ride your bike for fun, to get fit, save the environment or get around town, we’ve got recommendations on how to make cycling better for everyone. One way you can celebrate this year is participating in National Bike to Work Day, on May 19th. If this will be your first time biking to work or you’re nervous about jumping back into the saddle, here are a few tips to get you started.

biking_to_work

Plan your route. Google Maps is a good way to find bike friendly streets by selecting the “bicycling” option. Keep in mind that your preferred route by car won’t always be the safest option while riding a bike. If you’ll be taking your bike with you on to public transit, make sure there aren’t any limitations on how many bikes can be accommodated.

Check your bike. If your bike hasn’t had much action lately, double check your tires and brakes. It’s also always a good idea to make sure your chain is well lubricated and free of debris. Take a short ride around the block just to make sure everything is in working order.

Safety first. Before leaving the house, put on your helmet and reflective clothing to help with visibility. Depending on where you live, there may also be legal requirements for a front and back light. Both are especially important when cycling at night. While riding, watch for opening car doors and follow regular traffic laws. Once you reach your destination, be sure to lock your bike securely.

Even if you won’t be able to bike to work this week, drivers can still help make the roads safer for cyclists. While driving, keep these quick tips in mind:

Pass with care. Give bicyclists a 3-foot buffer while passing, and on multi-lane roads, switch lanes to ensure there is plenty of room.

Exit safely. Always double-check for cyclists before opening your door.

Mind your speed. Increased speed can mean the difference between an injury and a fatality. Follow speed limits and use caution while driving near bicyclists.

If you find that you’re biking more often than driving, Metromile’s per-mile car insurance could help you save. Head over to www.metromile.com/insurance to learn more.

9 Alternative Commute Options

The following is a guest post from Neil Richardson, an advisor for The Zebra, the nation’s largest car insurance comparison marketplace.

For the working masses who commute on a daily basis, private cars (75%) or car pools (9%) are most often the transportation of choice. But for those who can’t or don’t want to travel by car every day, there are plenty of other options for getting where you need to go.

commute_options

Bikes

Bicycles are a green, healthy and affordable option, and cities are increasingly becoming more bike-friendly, adding new bike lanes and cracking down on dangerous driver behavior that threatens cyclists. (See the League of American Bicyclists’ state-by-state guide to bicycle laws and ranking of the most bicycle-friendly cities and states.)

Cost? You can find plenty of used bikes on Craigslist for under $100, or for new models, you can expect to pay anything from $200 to $5,000+. The Zebra likes:

1. Cyclotron bike ($1,100-$2,990): Modeled after the one in the movie Tron, this bike has no spokes or tires, is “smart” (connected to an app), and has cool LED wheels with extra storage space.

2. Gi FlyBike ($2,000): This bike was created for commuters. It folds in half for easy storage in seconds, and it can be ridden as a traditional bike or by activating its electric mode, which can give riders a rest for up to 40 miles. The Gi FlyBike also has smartphone charging and is expected to start shipping in March 2017. (more…)