Edit ModuleShow Tags

12 Tips for Surviving Bike to Work Day

How cyclists are preparing for May 17


Bike to Work
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock (Rikard Stadler)

Last year, 7,265 San Diegans rolled into the office on two wheels (okay, 14,530 wheels) during a record-breaking Bike to Work Day.

Here at the magazine, our senior marketing designer Corey Hollister will be biking a whopping FIVE HOUR round-trip—from Oceanside to downtown San Diego. That’s 90 miles total! Naturally, we thought he was a good one to give us some advice. See below! (And check back tomorrow to see how his morning commute went.)

1. Plan your route. Take in consideration traffic, closed roads, etc., and give yourself extra time for emergencies like a flat tire. If you’re casually riding, assume you’ll go about 12 miles an hour.

2. Alert your boss that you’ll be biking to work. In case you’re late.

3. Make sure your bike is in tip-top shape. The ride will be harder, the worse shape it's in. Tires should be fully inflated and the chain lubricated and moving freely. If in doubt, take it to a local bike shop. It’s good to stock up on a spare tube, bike pump, and tools in case you get a flat (Corey rides with a spare tube, CO2, a patch kit, a bike tool, and a tire lever).

4. Dress properly. Tomorrow's forecast is a high of 67 degrees, 10% chance of rain, and 68% humidity. If you don’t have the full Spandex cycling outfit, just remember that lightweight, comfortable, non-restrictive clothing is best. For the morning, it'd be great to have a light jacket that you could shed. And don’t forget a helmet!

5. Clean up when you get there. Ideally, your office building has a gym with showers. If not, perhaps a friend or family member lives nearby and you could freshen up there. You could also try that hairspray stuff that makes your hair look less sweaty and oily.

6. Remember sunscreen and sunglasses. While it’s supposed to be cloudy tomorrow morning, the ride home should be sunny! Depending on your work hours—if you’re going to ride in the dark, get a bike light in the front and rear.

7. Eat a light breakfast so you have fuel. Don’t ride on an empty stomach. Skip the coffee before the long journey.

8. Hydrate! Experts recommend 20 ounces every hour. Bring a Camelbak or water bottles. And eat something every hour, like a Clif Bar!

9. Start slow. Get your legs warmed up, blood flowing, heart-rate up. Rest your legs before hills so you don’t burn out.

10. Break up the journey with markers you can see coming. Mini-goals are more obtainable. Corey looks for markers like the top of a hill and tells himself, “I want to make it there.” A good mantra that works: before my first half-marathon, the fitness director-turned-deputy editor at SELF told me, “Mind over miles, Erin!”

11. Obey all bicycle and traffic laws. Here they are, in case you need a refresher, from the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition.

12. Get free stuff. Register at iCommuteSD to qualify for the free snacks and t-shirt at designated pit stops. The iCommute trip tracker will also tell you how much gas you’ve saved. Strava is another fun way to track your ride and share it on Facebook. There’s also MapMyRide.

For more advice and anecdotes, two cycling San Diegans demystify the commute here.


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

San Diego Thanksgiving Guide 2015

Where to dine out, order catering, buy pies, and turkey-trot your way through the holiday

Bosa’s Big Idea

How the sale of homes in San Diego is providing shelter for people in the Philippines

Greg Graffin Wants to Provoke People to Think

The SoCal punk legend is coming to San Diego this week
Edit Module
Edit Module

Subscribe to the Blog

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Local News Updates And Things To Do In San Diego

About This Blog

San Diego Magazine's editorial staff (Erin Chambers Smith + Erin Meanley + Kimberly Cunningham + Archana Ram + a handful of smart, thoughtful contributors)  and web designer (Sanna Coates) blog everything from restaurants and bars to behind the scenes gossip to the best events happening this weekend. Looking for foodie and restaurant guru Troy Johnson? He's got his own blog here.

Recent Posts



Atom Feed Subscribe to the Cityfiles Feed »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Win Dinner for Two at Black&Blue Steakhouse

Win dinner for two at Black&Blue Steakhouse and $25 in Free Slot Play at Valley View Casino

MADE IN AMERICA — Craft Icons of the 50 States

MADE IN AMERICA is the last exhibition in Mingei International Museum’s American Icons series, celebrating 100 years of folk art, craft and design from coast to coast.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Dear Chargers, It's Over
    A pre-emptive breakup letter to the team we love
  2. Healthcare Goes High-Tech
    Dr. Eric Topol is putting health care in the palms of our hands
  3. Be Seen This Fall in Rancho Mirage
    Enter To Win a 2 Night Stay Package at The Luxurious Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa
  4. Growing Up in San Diego
    26 memories of being a kid in America's Finest City
  5. Incoming: Liberty Public Market
    San Diego's big public market unveils three big new concepts
  6. FIRST LOOK: Duke's La Jolla
    For decades, Top of the Cove in La Jolla held one of the most iconic restaurant spots in San Diego. Now they've finally filled that space. Take an exclusive first look at Duke's La Jolla.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module