Tuesday, March 27, 2007

commuting by bike

A lot of folks are talking about commuting by bike due to the impending quagmire of red line/purple line/brown construction around Belmont and Fullerton. Commuting by bike can be a great stress reliever. I thought I'd provide a few resource links for those of you who are considering it.

Safe Bicycling
Local Bike Shops - includes some user reviews of shops
Commuting Resources
Online Chicago Bike Map - available in hard copy from most local bike shops and via online request
City and State Bike Laws
CDOT Bike info page
Chicagoland Bicycle Federation - more resources

Riding with a local club can help you to get familiar with local bike routes and learn the ins and outs of getting around the city by bike.

Helmets - If you're riding around without one and wondering if you should get one, I've got a few words for you. You may not have many crashes where you hit your head. You may think "I'm a safe rider. I don't have accidents. Why do I need a helmet?" No matter how safely you ride, no matter how high your skill level, an unseen pothole or careless driver can always cause an accident. If that one unexpected moment leaves you lying on the pavement after hitting your head, chances are you'll be grateful for the helmet. I and several friends have had that experience. Without a helmet, I probably would not be able to write this now. It's your brain. It's your choice. And if you ride with your kids, asking them to wear a helmet without wearing one yourself doesn't exactly set an example. Chances are they'll take the helmets off when they're out of your sight if you don't wear one yourself.

Riding in the city can be a great experience, and commuting by bike can be the ultimate liberation from the CTA's woes. Let's be safe out there!

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