Everything you need to know about cycling to work.

Posted by Pietro Gerolimetto on


by Dora Marraffa

September, come on. It's time for good resolutions. Here, then, why not make a really important resolution for the well-being of our lives and our cities: let's choose the bike to go to work . But where to start, which bike to choose , how to equip ourselves

To guide us, point by point, in this resolution to jump on the saddle to get to the workplace is a true expert in cycling mobility: Ilaria Fiorillo . The always smiling face and legs always on the pedals of @milano_in_bicicletta is a real point of reference on Instagram for bike lovers, newbies and not.

Ilaria tells the beautiful side of the bike in her posts and stories, based on the principle that the more people ride a bike, the fewer cars there are around. Our cities are more beautiful and livable. So, if you too want to be that "extra person on a bicycle", as Ilaria says, follow her advice.

How to choose the bicycle.

First of all, you need a bicycle. Having one already gives you a nice advantage, but if you don't have one and above all you don't have the slightest idea of ​​which model suits your needs, plus you know nothing about brakes, wheels, spokes... Here are some simple tips to guide you .

Choose the bicycle based on the type of bike to work .

  • Short-range bike to work , i.e. between 3 and 7 km, within the same city or town. In this case, you need a city bike , absolutely with large wheels if you have to move around in historic centers with paved pavement like in Milan or cobblestones like in Rome. With gears, if daring climbs await you on your path; without, however, if you live in the plains.
  • Medium-range bike to work, i.e. starting from 7 km, outside your own city or municipality, for example from the hinterland to Milan or vice versa. For this type of itinerary, based on age and training, you can choose an e-bike (which is a great convenience) or a medium-range bike with gears .
  • Wide range bike to work . If you have to make an initial stretch by bike, then take the train and finally make another journey by bike to reach your workplace, your bike is undoubtedly the folding one .

Now, whether you have your own bike, whether you buy yourself a brand new one, or whether you think about renting it perhaps for an initial running-in period to see how you feel, keep in mind this recommendation on which Ilaria is really peremptory: the bike must work well . “Especially at the beginning of your bike to work, always make sure that everything is absolutely in place, otherwise, it's just a moment that you really don't feel like it because you get tired, you get stressed... in short, can you tell yourself who makes me do it?”. And the good purpose ends up back in the drawer of dreams that never came true. And instead, no, it's really a shame to give up because the advantages of riding a bike are many. Read the article to the end to know what they are .

How not to sweat.

The best way to get to work flawlessly on your bike is to have nothing on your shoulders. So no to the backpack . "The loads - suggests Ilaria - let's take them to the bike". So yes to luggage racks and side bags , especially to models that detach and turn into backpacks, especially if in the hot season we also have to carry the gear with us. No, obviously to the trash if we have to transport the PC. Obviously, if we really don't want to make any effort, the queen of comfort that guarantees you to always arrive at work in perfect order is the electric bike . Discover all the advantages of the e-bike here .

What you need to equip yourself correctly and functionally.

First of all, according to the Highway Code, in order to circulate your bicycle it must necessarily be equipped with a bell , front lights , rear lights and reflectors , reflectors on the pedals and side. A helmet is not compulsory, but is highly recommended. Likewise, to feel safer it is better to wear comfortable shoes (“…put the heels in the side bag to change in the office”, as Ilaria suggests). In order not to get dirty, however, the mudguards and the chain guard are very useful. And, if it suddenly rains, it's always far-sighted to bring along a poncho and rain pants.

Which way to go by bike.

Never take the same road you've always traveled by tram or car, unless it's perfect and comfortable for your bike too. Otherwise, it would be a serious mistake: you risk getting discouraged and leaving the bike in the garage after two days. Ilaria recommends taking the time to evaluate an alternative , faster, more comfortable route (perhaps without cobblestones ). The journey, yes, could be longer but less busy. Naturally inform you if there are cycle paths that you have ignored so far. And most importantly, check if you can get to your place of work via a park . Of course, it may be that you lengthen the road a little, but you gain in well-being. “You want to get to work well oxygenated and regenerated by the scents of the trees rather than intoxicated by exhaust fumes!”.

Why choose to go to work by bike.

Is already. It is precisely here that Ilaria's smile lights up, when she starts praising all the advantages of going to work by bike. It's cheaper because you save money (which, given the times, is no small thing); do not pollute ; you arrive earlier than those traveling by car and, above all, you charge yourself with energy and are much more responsive than your fellow driver, already stressed out at 9 in the morning after being stuck in traffic for an hour. In short, you are happier and the city and the Earth are also happier. And above all other motivation this really is the most important incentive.

How to maintain your bike.

But only if the bicycle is perfect is it a joy to pedal. Therefore, to ride your bike without stress and in complete safety, always remember to have your bike checked by a mechanic every 3/4 months . Much more frequently, however, it is advisable to check that the chain is well oiled , that the brakes are in place and that the wheels are well inflated . “These - explains Ilaria - must be inflated at least once a week, to avoid punctures. Especially in the city, where it's easy to find glass and nails, and especially if it's hot, you risk getting flat more easily if the tires are flat".

While waiting for a Bicycle Office to be set up in every municipality to take care of urban cyclists, you can start the change: choose to go to work by bike and, why not, also choose the bike to take your children to school . You will gain time and happiness for yourself, for them and for all of us.

For more tips or curiosities and, above all, to discover all the facets of the beauty of cycling, follow Ilaria on @milano_in_bicicletta .

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