Bike Commuting Entrepreneur: Benefits, Tips, and Gear Recommendations
With the Fall season in full effect, I spent some time recently maintaining and de-greasing my bicycles! You might be wondering what bicycling has to do with running a business. For me, it has a lot to do with my company. I moved to the Boston area two years ago, and continued my habit of bike commuting whenever possible for work. Although I frequently ride a road bike and a mountain bike outside of work,, a few years ago I purchased a full-size electric, folding bike to use exclusively for bike commuting to meetings and projects.
My electric, folding bike is from a startup in Sweden, called StarkBikes. It allows me to ride up to 20 MPH and will go for up to 40 miles on a single charge. Most of my trips into the city are 10 miles or less. The big benefit I have had with riding my STARK electric bike to meetings, is that I can arrive quickly, without getting all sweaty. This is especially important in the summer season, when it is muggy and hot in New England!
If you are interested in bike commuting in the future, planning your approach and gear is very important. As my Dad says "plan your work, and work your plan". Planning and preparing for travel is as important as planning for other areas of business, whether you are a business leader or entrepreneur. I often coach and teach clients about planning, scheduling, and organization. If you need help in this area, let me know!
I primarily ride on bike paths (Charles River Bike Path) or routes that have designated bicycle lanes to ensure my safety. I also always use front and rear lights.
Depending on where I am meeting, many times I am able to fold my bike in half, although it is heavy, and bring it inside the meeting or a coffee shop. This helps to ensure my bike is secure. When I do need to lock up my bike, I use a hefty Kryptonite bike lock! This Lock weighs about 50 lb and the only reason I use a lock of this weight is because with the electric pedal-assist on my bike I don't really feel the weight of carrying it. There are other types of locks that weigh much less depending on your needs.
When I plan to bike commute into Boston, Cambridge, Belmont, Newton, or Watertown, I always arrive early to ensure I have a place to Lock my bike or am able to bring it inside. Once I'm inside of the building, I take a few minutes to change into business casual clothing. Many of my clients are fascinated with the fact that I bike to meet with them, and I get many questions from both clients and spectators about my bike - particularly that it folds or that it is electric. Do you have any questions so far? Comment below.
I have a 40 degree biking rule, so I bike when it is above this temperature year round, as weather allows.
Benefits of Bike commuting to work include:
Great for the environment with a low carbon footprint
Saving money on gas and parking for a car
Promoting my fitness
Opportunity to clear my mind while riding
Allowed on public transit (folding electric bikes are currently allowed on Boston's transportation system, the MBTA, where as normal bicycles are restricted to some lines and buses at certain hours.
Quicker than driving (many times I can get to Cambridge or close-by meetings faster than I can drive a car)!
Auto insurance discount (low mileage discount)
Some pieces of equipment and gear I highly recommend for those who bike commute, whether electric or traditional bike include:
Equipment and Accessories:
Bike (my STARK electric bike has front suspension, disc breaks, horn, usb charging, throttle, fenders, computer, 250w battery that fits in frame)
Cargo rack (you can also just use a backpack)
Lock (I bring this lock only when I need to park outside - large enough to wrap through frame and wheels when folded)
Fenders (keeps rain off your behind)
Front and rear bicycle lights (USB chargeable)
Bell or horn (this bell is very loud and clear!)
Portable Pump or CO2 cartridge
Gear for Work/Meetings:
Let me know if I've missed any items that you typically bring or recommend for bike commuting! Leave a comment below. Happy riding!
Disclaimer: This very helpful post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means that should you click any of the links and make a purchase, I may get a small commission at absolutely no cost to you.
TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK. WHAT GEAR DO YOU USE FOR BIKE COMMUTING? I SPENT A LOT OF TIME WRITING THIS STORY, SO IF YOU ENJOYED IT, PLEASE CONSIDER SHARING, AND LEAVE A COMMENT OR QUESTION AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS STORY. I’D REALLY APPRECIATE IT!
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Meet the Author: Sarah Scala
A dynamic consultant, coach, and educator, Sarah Scala provides organization and leadership development, executive coaching, succession planning, change management, public speaking facilitation, and team development solutions. Her work transforms performance of executives, leaders, and teams, helping them reach their highest potential. She supports US-based and global clients across cultures, generations, geographies, and diverse industries.
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