“I wake up every morning looking forward to my commute to work…”
-Said no one ever.
…Well, aside from me. I love commuting to work!
Whether you’re in sales, engineering, or are a C-class Executive, this post will hopefully get your wheels turning (literally) about making a change to your work commute.
It all began when I was getting ready one day for work, and realized my favorite pair of jeans made me feel like I was squeezing into a sardine can. I also was getting to work sleepy almost every day, and in desperate need of my Starbucks fix. Not a fun state of mind to be in for sales calls. At the end of the day, I would come home too tired to work out and would choose to eat prepared food from Whole Foods and watch House of Cards instead. And don’t even get me started on working out before work. Yes, we are all super ambitious the night before and set those early alarms! But when 5:30am rolls around, do you get out of bed and put your sneakers on? No, you hit snooze for the next hour.
Clearly something needed to be done. I decided to buy a bike.
I’ll admit, the first day of my commute was exhilarating yet terrifying. Dodging taxi cabs, muni busses, and cable cars while trying to listen to my Google Maps app give me directions to work proved extremely stressful. Little did I know Toyota Prius’ are the most dangerous?! Those sneaky automobiles don’t make a sound when they’re approaching you! I finally made it to my office, goofy bike helmet and all.
I sat down at my desk and jumped straight into my inbox. After powering through a few hours of work, I realized that I hadn’t even taken a coffee break yet (and just saved myself $5). As the week continued, I felt more energized, happier, and focused at work. I was getting my exercise, without having to take any extra time out of my day. I’m never turning back.
Fact: In SF, it can take the same amount of time to bike to work rather than driving or taking the bus. Instead of having my face stuck in a stranger’s armpit for 27 minutes on the bus, I’m burning calories and releasing endorphins.
If you are able to walk or ride your bike to work, I would highly recommend it. You’ll get great exercise and help the environment. Heck, if you do, I’ll even send you some free ToutApp swag!
- Hills: Google Maps on the iPhone doesn’t take hills into consideration. Make sure to look up your route on GM on your desktop (which does). I made that mistake and pretty much had to climb Mt. Everest on the way to yoga. Subsequently, I was too tired to even go to yoga.
- Read resources first: Make sure you read about the basics such as: rules of the road, how to lock your bike, etc. You’ll have more confidence when riding, and won’t make a traffic mistake or get your bike stolen. Also, don’t feel embarrassed to even sign up for a class (it’s not silly). City Biking is different from your neighborhood route back in the good ol’ days.
- Smelling fresh: For people who are worried about getting sweaty you can use baby or citrus wipes and then bring your work clothes in a backpack.
- Bike Gear: Wear a helmet and sunglasses. The wind can make your eyes water and it’s a nice trick to keep your makeup on and have less distractions when riding. Also, it helps to roll up your pant leg so it doesn’t get caught in the chain. For the ladies, be careful of tights or leggings because they can easily snag on the bike pedal!
*If you don’t own a bike, here’s the cheapest place I found for bike rentals. Try it out for a few days then make a commitment!