Bike Back To Work

The past few months have been anything but ordinary. While many of us have been telecommuting during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are also starting to transition back into the workplace and adjusting to our “new normal.” Whether you used to carpool or drove alone, this time also allows for the opportunity to switch-up your commute and try biking or walking to work. This transition may be easier than you think, especially as many of us have already been out biking and walking regularly for fresh air or for exercise (it justifies all the cookies and ice cream we’ve been eating, right?) Read on to learn more about how easy this change can be!

If you don’t bike, the general idea behind all of these steps can be applied to walking as well! 

1. Dust off your bike

In some ways, this is the hardest step. If it’s been a while since you’ve rode your bike, or your bike is new to you, be sure to give your bike a quick check before heading out. Don’t forget to also check the fittings on your bike, and make any adjustments to the position of your handlebars, stem, seat, and brake levers so that they are comfortable to you.

Video by the League of American Bicyclists
Video by the League of American Bicyclists
Video by the League of American Bicyclists
Video by the League of American Bicyclists

2. Go for a ride

Now that your bike is ready, it’s time for the fun part- going for a ride! Be sure to review basic rules of the road before your head out, which may also relieve any pre-trip stress or concerns for first-timers. You can also review some route planning tips or if you’re feeling adventures, see where you end up! 

It is also worth noting this now is a great time to start riding as traffic seems to be significantly reduced compared to prior to COVID-19, increasing road safety and the comfort level of a rider. While we can expect traffic to get back to prior levels at some point, this provides a perfect opportunity for inexperienced bikers to increase their comfort level in the meantime.

Video by the League of American Bicyclists
Video by the League of American Bicyclists

3. Make it a habit

Creating a habit takes time, but every ride you take helps integrate biking into your daily routine. If you’re someone who wants some motivation, try checking out one of our biking or walking Bingo cards or participate in one of our commute challenges held throughout the year.

Also, this is a great time to test out your ride to work. Try some different potential routes, locate a nearby bike rack or where you can leave your during the day, and address any other obstacles that may come up. Test out how long your commute will take so that you can plan enough time the morning of.

4. Ride to work when the office reopens

The time has come to now ride your bike to work! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to ride every day. Try one or two days a week at first as you adjust to your new commute and find out what days works best for your schedule. Also, talk with your employer about any potential incentives or accommodations they may have for bikers. If they don’t, start the conversation so that your employer may consider implementing them in the future.

We would like to give a shout out to bikesmakelifebetter.com who originally published this initiative and created this great resources for organizations like ours and transportation professionals alike.  Be sure to check out their website if you wish to receive more information.

Additional COVID-19 Resources 

With everything going on in the world, we wanted to provide a positive, informative, and supportive place for resources and activities related to biking and walking during the COVID-19 pandemic. Biking and walking is an ideal way of getting around while maintaining social distancing, combating cabin fever, reducing stress and increasing your health.

Please remain safe and make smart decisions for both you and others. You should follow your local government’s guidelines at all times, which supersedes any guidance or recommendations provided here.

#HomeHikeChallenge Participate in Governor Sununu’s Home Hike Challenge by practicing social distancing while getting outside, sharing a picture using the #HomeHikeChallenge tag!

Color Your Commute Draw a picture of your smart commute or being active outside! Email it to us at info@commutesmartnh.org and we will share it on our social media. We will also choose a few lucky few to send a CommuteSmart NH water bottle. Open to all ages, though with parental permission if you are underage. 

Self-Guided Walking/Biking Tours Check out one of these local tours to find a new place to explore or to see a familiar place through new eyes. Experience by yourself or with the people you live with. All these tours can be done in full or in smaller sections. Be sure to share with us what you find! 

Hiking Trails & State Parks 

Bike-Walk Alliance of NH Learn more about biking and walking in New Hampshire as well as related events occurring around the Granite State! They have several “Social Distancing Virtual Cycling Events” happening, including a Bikes & Beers Social Distancing Ride! They also have a webpage with tips for bicycling and walking during the pandemic. Check out more at https://bwanh.org/

Local Bike Advocacy Groups There are several bike advocacy groups throughout New Hampshire that have a vast array of resources for biking. Check one out in your area below:

Bike Back to Work https://bikesmakelifebetter.com/bike-back-to-work-how-to-motivate-employees-to-ride-now-and-when-offices-re-open/ Targeted for employers, this free resource can be used to create a plan to encourage employees to ride now and to give bike commuting a try when offices start to reopen. 

Ride Healthy www.ride-healthy.com This site focuses on getting more people biking to help us all get through the Coronavirus Era and beyond.

Resources for telecommuting are permanently available on our telecommuting page