With events like Global Employee Health and Fitness Month upon us and World Bicycle Day upcoming, now is the perfect time to begin prioritizing cycling in your life. Especially since the COVID-19 pandemic began, but also for many years before that, the number of people who shifted to commuting to work via bicycle or electric bike has increased dramatically. The benefits of biking to work are numerous, including improving heart health, lowering stress, improving your immune system, helping to build better social networks, and developing long-term healthy habits.
This trend of biking to work is also particularly popular among women. As biking to work has increased, the amount of women bike commuting has also steadily risen. For women bike commuting, the benefits are also significant compared to driving, taking public transportation, or even running or walking. When women bike commute to work, they are adopting a habit that is both healthy and environmentally friendly.
To build on the bike buying guide for women that we have created, let’s walk through this ultimate bike commuting guide for women so that you can ride to work safely and improve your health and environment along the way.
Choose Step-thru E-Bike
Before we tell you why women bike commuting to work should choose a step-thru e-bike, we should walk through the various different types of bikes so that you have a clear picture of what is on the market and why some are better for certain people or situations. In general, men’s bikes will be taller, have larger wheels, longer crankshafts, and higher and thicker crossbars. This is primarily due to men being, in general, physically larger. Women's bikes, by contrast, typically have slightly smaller wheels, wider and shorter saddles, and have lower crossbars. These lower crossbars make a bike what is known as a step-thru bike, which means that rather than swing your leg over the bike to get seated, you can simply step comfortably over the crossbar and take a seat.
For women bike commuting to work, a step-thru electric bike is the best option for multiple reasons. First, step-thru bikes were designed specifically for women. These bikes make it easy to ride with grace and tact even while wearing a dress or a skirt, something women may need to wear to work. This makes step-thru bikes a comfortable and convenient transportation option. Additionally, the reason an electric bike version is the best choice for women bike commuting to work is that they are simply easier to ride. While one of the primary benefits of riding a bike to work is cardiovascular activity, it can also be helpful to access supplemental electric power when you have a long commute or if you need to keep from breaking too much of a sweat before a big meeting.
Use Bike Light
Just because women bike commuting to work is a growing trend and has many physical and mental health benefits does not mean that it is without its own shortfalls. One primary concern is biking to and from work in the wintertime when the days are much shorter. During this period, even if you do not have to go to work early or stay late, you may be riding either partially or exclusively in the dark. If your job has odd hours, if you are an early riser, or if you tend to stay late to work overtime, you must ensure you can be seen by drivers while you ride. While all drivers should be alert and aware of potential bikers, that is unfortunately not always the case—so as a biker, you must do everything you can to make sure you are visible to others around you.
Riding your bike to work safely in the dark means taking precautionary measures. There are two key ways of doing this. The first is to equip your electric bike with bike lights. These bike lights can function in one of two ways. One way is to use them as pseudo-reflectors, illuminating your bike so that people can see you riding. Another way to use bike lights is in the same way that cars use headlights, by fashioning the lights to the front of the bike so that they help guide you on the road or pathway. This makes it both easier for you to see and easier for drivers to see you.
The second key action you should take to ensure you are biking safely in the dark is to wear reflective gear. Car headlights will catch the reflectors and illuminate them, making it easy for drivers to see you riding. Reflectors are common accessories on bikes themselves, but you can also put reflectors on your bike helmet or wear a reflective vest to be as safe as possible.
Items You Must Have in Your Bag
Women bike commuting to work is different than men biking to work. Because you no longer have a car to carry all of your things, you will need to ensure you plan ahead to have everything you need in your bag. This includes some essential items, such as your work computer, wallet, keys, and phone. These may not seem like typical items you would need for work, but when biking it is imperative that you prepare for all possible scenarios ahead of time.
Women bike commuting to work who want to have the most success and do so comfortably and safely should take all of these steps into consideration. Choosing a step-thru bike, using a bike light and reflectors, and ensuring you always have essentials with you are all important to making your commute enjoyable and efficient.