The following is a guest blog post by local bike attorney Dan Brazil of Brazil Law Group. Brazil Law Group is a sponsor of Our Streets Minneapolis.
There’s a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. As vaccines begin rolling out across the country, we can start to see the initial signs of life returning to normal. Although this is a welcome change, many of us will choose to reenter the world with ease and caution. I think biking is a great way to do just that.
Now Is the Time to Try Biking to Work, School & Beyond
There are many reasons why now is a great time to try commuting by bike. Are you returning to the office after working remotely? Biking is a great way to avoid the stress of downtown traffic during this time. It’s also a great source of exercise when many public parks and gyms are still closed.
Biking is also kind to the environment in which we live. During the height of the pandemic, when more vehicles stayed in driveways and garages, global nitrogen dioxide concentrations (caused by fossil fuels) decreased by nearly 20%. These numbers show that biking can directly impact our health and the wellbeing of our surroundings.
Considerations to Make Before You Start Commuting by Bike
If you’re convinced that biking is the best way forward for you, but have never commuted via two wheels before, here some things I’d encourage you to consider first:
- How will you dress? You’ll need to not only dress for the outside temperature but also for what’s required at work or school. You may need to pack a change of clothes for when you reach your destination.
- How often will you bike? If you’re new to bike commuting, you might benefit from biking only a couple of days a week until you gain some strength and experience.
- Where will you store your bike? Some offices, schools and retail stores have bike racks, while others have bike garages nearby. Decide where you’ll store your bike and remember to bring a bike lock (I recommend a double lock).
- Do you know how to fix a flat? Daily bike use results in wear and tear, including flat tires that can happen at any time. If you’re not sure how to fix a flat, take a class or reach out to a fellow cyclist for help.
- Is your bike in good shape? Your bike should have a tune-up to ensure it’s safe for daily use. Clean any dirt or grease from your bike and check your tires for wear and cracks. It’s also a good idea to ensure your brakes work properly and that every bolt is tightened for the best support.
Making Your Bike Your Main Mode of Transportation? I’m Here to Support You.
If you’ve decided to try commuting by bike in Minneapolis for the first time, please be safe. Wear the correct safety gear and always follow the rules of the road. And remember, whether you’re biking to the office or down the street for a cup of coffee, if you experience a bike crash, I’m here to help.
Attorney Daniel J. Brazil of Brazil Law Group is an experienced personal injury attorney with offices located in Uptown. He’s also a member of the Bike Law Network. He has a passion for the outdoors, especially cycling and climbing. Learn more about Dan and his practice by following him on Twitter (@LawDanielBrazil and #MplsBikeAttorney).