Bicycling at Indiana University

Commuting Tips


Choose Your Bike: Ensure a enjoyable commute by using a bike that fits you. Local shops and online resources can help you appropriately fit a bike. Also consider simplicity. The less complex the bike, the fewer moving parts and knick-knacks, the easier maintenance will be. 

Perform Routine Checkups: Perform routine checkups on your bike weekly or twice monthly to make sure everything is running fine. This includes checking tire pressure, brake pads wear and tear, and retightening any screws and bolts that might have come loose.

Be Prepared: It’s not just a Boy Scout motto. Consider investing in a “emergency kit” containing an extra tube, hand pump, minimalist tool kit, sun glasses, band aids, and hand sanitizer to take with you wherever you go.

Plan Your Route: Exercise your freedom and plan a route that’s visually appealing, safe, quick, and fun! Choose downhill paths on your way to work to minimize the exercise and sweat factor, but make sure to take that route home so you get the benefits of climbing hills on your daily commute.

Account for the Weather: Make sure to dress properly for inclement weather. Rain gear that covers you head to toe will keep you warm and dry on your way to work in the rain or snow. Don’t forget your lights! Just like driving, it’s a good idea to use lights in low visibility situations to avoid unpleasant situations.

Ditch the Backpack: Using rear-racks to transport your suitcase and backpacks can reduce the weight on your body – making the ride more comfortable, and in the summer reducing the chance of arriving to work with a backpack shaped sweat stain on that amazing satin shirt.

Tuck or Fold Your Pants: A common mistake made by new commuters is to get grease on their pants from pedaling. The solutions are many, from simple to complex, but I recommend tucking your pants into your socks or folding your pants up to just below your knee until you get to your destination. You might feel awkward, but trust me, you look great!