Pro tips for your two-wheeled commute

This are certainly amazing tips. Most important of all, know the context and culture of the city where you are going to ride in. I live in Bogotá, that is one of the cities with most bike lines crossing it. But it’s not all fun and games riding a bike in the city. Bike lanes are recognised as the preferred spots for thieves to transit, and nights can be a nightmare if you ride a fancy bike on the bike lanes. Also quantity doesn’t mean quality, most of the bike lanes have a lot of hidden obstacles and you can wound up with a flat tire and a very frustrating commute (I’ve been there). It is preferable in this case to very carefully ride your bike on the street, and avoid conversations with strangers.

Have a good set of tools: an adjustable wrench, screwdriver and hex wrench with multiple heads, a tire pump, tire patches, glue, a lighter (to ignite the glue), a tire file, tire levers and a flashlight). I carry all this stuff inside a tool pouch in a pannier attached to my bike. Believe me, the tools are really worth the weight.

I highly encourage other bike users to have a waterproof change of clothes available in case of heavy rain, in my city is an unpleasant and unexpected surprise. Always wear a helmet and leather gloves in case you fall, they can be really live savers. I also use a (very fancy) cloth neck to avoid inhaling a lot of smoke, but some people opt to use masks for this purpose. If you ride at night have reflective gear and a front light for you and other commuters to see where you are going.

Know your route and look for repair shops along the way to know where to go in case your bike betrays you in the middle of the road.

Lastly, bike safe and have fun.

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