How to start biking to work

Most environmentally conscious people know how detrimental car culture has been for the environment. Not only do cars release carbon dioxide and promote the harvesting of fossil fuels, they are bad for our waist lines! Biking to work is gaining popularity, and for good reason: It's healthier than driving, better for the environment, and, well, more fun than sitting in traffic!

If you're interested in biking to work, consider these tips for a safe and enjoyable commute:

Practice first

Depending on where you live, urban biking may be a breeze (if you have protected bike paths, for instance) or an adrenaline-pumping adventure. If you're going to be biking in a large city, you may want to practice during non-peak traffic hours before attempting your commute during rush hour.

Ask a friend or online community

If you already have a friend who bikes to work, great! Speak to them about the best paths in your town for getting from place to place. If not, there are plenty of online communities you can join that will help you get great information about biking in your city. Sydney Cyclist and the Bicycles Network of Australia both have active online communities you can join.

Prepare to towel off

Don't be surprised to find that you get a bit sweaty on your bike to work. This is an exercise, after all! There's no need to shower when you arrive at work, though – according to the Active Transportation Alliance, more than 85 per cent of urban bikers said they didn't shower upon arriving to work. Simply towel off and bring a change of clothes or bring a pack of wet wipes on particularly hot days. Speaking of which …

Get the right gear

Ladies, you probably won't want to bike to work in your pumps. Wear lightweight clothing (on hot days, at least) and a pair sneakers. You can carry everything you need for the day in a backpack – trust us, you won't want to be carrying a purse. No worries, though – that handbag can fit right inside your green bag until you get to your destination.