Determined to bike to work this year but not sure about bike commuting in a business suit? Keep reading for strategies on how to incorporate biking into your daily commute routine – even in a business suit!
This is a guest blog post from Danielle, one of our brand ambassadors in Minneapolis-St.Paul.
The main goal of my morning trip to work is to arrive feeling good and ready for the day, which can easily be undone by any undue hassles of commuting. This involves first avoiding the stress of traffic and driving. Morning traffic is the very thing that keeps me out of my car and on to my favored combination of bike & bus. So here it is, my guide to commuting success, or as others see me, bike commuting in my business suit.
I fly via bike to my bus stop, remove my Po Campo Bergen pannier bag, lift my aluminum steed onto the rack, and board the bus.
I jump on my bike at my house and pedal the first lag of my commute; a 5 block burn to the bus stop. I quickly remove my bag from my bike's rear-rack because I don't want it to be a bug screen on the front of the bus (bugs don't go with my business suit) and take it with me on the bus.
The Po Campo Bergen Pannier is hands-down the best bag for my bike/bus exchanges. The quick release magnetic straps leave little room for user-error in removing the bag from my bike.
Second potential hassle, the intimidating process of lifting my bike onto the front bus rack. I personally know people who avoid bus/bike commuting all together for this exact reason. DON’T WORRY! I HAVE A BOARDING-BIKE-ONTO-BUS SOLUTION. Simply, ask the bus driver to lower the bus. #gettoknowyourfriendlybusdriver #pocampo #bikecommuterhack
I arrive downtown, remove my bike from the front of the bus, jump on, and ride the 2 final blocks to my building.
After a pleasant 30 minutes of answering emails, snaps, and checking Facebook, my bus arrives in our capital city of St. Paul. Next potential hassle zone – downtown bus stops. In the morning they are normally chaotic, densely populated with people, and great opportunities for added stress! Again, ask the driver to lower the bus so you can easily remove your bike from the front rack. Without time or space to reattach your bag, use a pannier bag with a good shoulder strap. This. Is. Everything.
With a shoulder strap to accommodate your quick transition needs (this practice comes in handy come cyclocross season, more on that later!), you can swiftly and comfortably throw your bag on your back (vs. bike) and be on your way. Bonus points, a bike bag that works with your business suit such as the Po Campo Bergen Pannier's lack of rack hooks that would otherwise dig into your clothing/skin while slung on your back.
A Quick Note on Commuting Bikes & Parts
My favorite feature of my stylish commuter (featured here; http://bicycletimesmag.com/world-bicycle-relief-partners-specialized-donate-bikes/) is my belt-drive. Go greaseless. It won’t rust. It won’t freeze and throw you from your bike in the winter (I speak from experience) and it WON’T GET GREASE ON YOUR BUSINESS SUIT! A bike with a purpose is a quintessential bike style feature #worldbicyclerelief (did I mention #pocampo gives to this organization as well). So if you are in the market for a new commuter bike, a belt drive is a great option.
And finally, base miles.
Make your body feel good and log those spring biking base miles. I always bike the entirety of the way home after work. With my business suit in my bag (Watch: How to fold a suit without wrinkles), my belt drive chugging along, and my pannier securely attached to my bike (also important speaking from experience), I have a beautiful 10 mile route home along the Mississippi river from my office downtown St. Paul, MN to my home in Minneapolis. This is my time to work out, to relieve any added job related stress from the day, and to enjoy the good life on a bike. And now that the weather is warming up, you can bet I'll l be taking the long way home!
Happy bike commuting in a business suit!
"Biking is part of my love for movement and personal and professional commitment to public health including supporting the environment and disease prevention;it is a way for me to be part of the solution! Biking also satisfies my love of the outdoors and any and all athletic endeavors."