Saturday, March 1, 2014

Bike Commuting 101

Heavy traffic and Manila. Two words that go together like bread and butter. Statistics from the year 2007 show that there are 5,530,052 registered vehicles with National Capital Region having 1,592,036 vehicles or 29%. That was 7 years ago. I am sure the figures have increased. Whenever we complain about traffic, our blood pressure shoots up through the roof.
The government started projects such as the elevated Skyway 3 in the hope decongesting Metro Manila. It would work up to a certain extent. Take a look at Los Angeles, California. This modern US city has many roads, yet, why does it still have problems on traffic? It's the volume of vehicles that contribute to the problem.
Buying a new vehicle will not solve the traffic problem, so what would an ordinary worker like you breeze through traffic? Use a bicycle.

I live about 34 kilometers (21 miles) from where I work. On rush hours, by car, it takes me 45 minutes to 1 hour to get there. By bus and MRT, 1.5 to 2 hours. By pure cycling, it took me 2.5 hours on an easy pace. 
Hybrid commuting (using bus and bicycle) can cut your trip to 1 hour.
It makes sense to do hybrid commuting. 

Before you go the way of hybrid commuting or bike commuting, here are some points to consider:
  1. Buy a good bicycle. Some mall bikes, cheap as it maybe, are not sturdy and maybe heavy for you. Cheap mall bikes have cheap components that may fail when you least expect it. Would you like walking halfway your trip and spend money just to hire a taxicab? Buy a decent entry level bike. Talk to your local bike shop and see the bicycles they are offering. 
  2. Consider folding bikes. These bikes can be folded to a compact size so they can fit neatly in a trunk or bag. They are fun too. 
  3. Buy a good set of front and rear lights. They provide visibility for other motorists at night.
  4. A compact tool is your friend. Topeak Mini 20 Gold Tool is a good brand. I have used it in my rides and have saved me quite a number of times. (read the review here)
  5. Get a backpack to put your change of clothes and your things.
  6. Ride with caution. If there is doubt, don't risk it. We live to ride another day.
  7. Be patient. You will get there.
  8. Plan your route ahead. Take the route used by the least number of motorists.
  9. Consider your average ride speed to calculate your estimated arrival time at your destination.
  10. Have fun. Bike Commuting makes you feel in control of your time. Instead of waiting for public transport to arrive, you are on the road, happily pedaling away.

A building casts an eerie glow. Late post #ExperimentsInLowLightPhotography #cycling #foldie #bikelife #bike

A photo posted by Gerald V (@chroniclesofthevoyager) on

Arm yourself for the Carmaggedon! Be safe and Ride Well

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