Tips: Biking to Work
If you haven’t been on a bike in years, the first step you should take before riding around town is simply getting comfortable on your bike. Take some time to practice in your driveway, in a park, or on a calm side street before you take your wheels on the busier roads.
Is Your Bike Ready?
Give your bicycle a good once-over before you take it out on the road. Clean and oil the chain, put air in the tires, and make sure the brakes are working properly. If you’re not comfortable with basic bike mechanics, take it to a local bike shop for a tune-up before you go. You can even get look at the map to plan your route and do a test run. Take a look at the bike lanes and paths in Eugene and Springfield and plan a route that will have you spending as much time as possible in protected bike lanes or bike routes on traffic-calmed roads. Be cognizant of other cyclists, pedestrians, and vehicles around you. Yield to pedestrians at crosswalks, turn your head around to check before turning, and mind the turn signals of cars in front of you as you approach intersections. Pay special attention to staying out of the blind spots of motorists.
Weather - Daylight - Safety
Don't let the weather get the best of you. Look at the forecast the evening before and locate your rain jacket, rain pants, and or gloves as needed. If you hope to stay drier, you'll want to set your bike up with fenders. You will probably want a headlight and taillight too. We encourage you all to wear helmets when biking to work.
Follow the Rules of the Road
Here is a quick list of Oregon Bike Laws. There are a couple of new traffic laws – affectionately known as the Idaho Stop, a new bike-specific law allowing you to roll carefully through stop signs when there is no other traffic there, and allowance to proceed through stop lights after coming to a full stop - as long as it is safe to proceed. Also having bike lights at night is a legal requirement.
And Finally, Have Fun!
While cycling in the city needs to be approached with the same degree of precaution that any form of transportation should, it shouldn’t be a stressful experience. Cycling is safe, healthy and importantly, fun! Relish the experience of the wind in your hair and the sun (or Rain) on your back. Take note of your surroundings, say hi to other cyclists. As much as it’s about health and sustainability, cycling is also about putting joy back into your commute.