Riding to work on a motorcycle can be a challenge between unpredictable weather, inattentive drivers, wrinkled clothes, and road grime, all of which can contribute to failing to look presentable once you arrive at work. However, if commuting on a bike is an option, then you are certain to find many benefits such as saving time, saving money on gas, and having more fun during your commute than those who commute daily by car. Before you hit the pavement, though, run through this quick list of perils and concerns when commuting by bike.
Beware of Traffic
Traffic is probably the biggest concern. Motorcycle commuters have to share the road not only with the multitude of cars but the people in those cars who may be distracted by their phones, their coffee, eating breakfast, and the stress of trying to get to work in a hurry. Being a motorcycle in the middle of this sea of vehicles can be dangerous, intimidating, and a lot more uncomfortable than being in a car.
To most drivers, you’re invisible, the result of “inattentional blindness,” a phenomenon where objects directly in people’s field of vision are not seen due to an overload of other stimuli. This means they can look directly at you on a motorcycle and still pull out in front of you because they thought they didn’t see anything. Consequently, your best defense is to drive defensively, make sure that people can see you, and expect the unexpected because, if you get into an accident, you are more likely to get hurt.
Increased Exposure to Weather
Weekend biking allows you to choose when, where, and for how long you’ll ride, but you are denied these choices with commuting. You commute at a certain time each day, and the weather is going to be unpredictable. It can be warm and sunny in the morning and cooler by 20 degrees when you go home or cool in the morning with temperatures having risen to the high 90s with the humidity at 85 percent in the evening.
In addition, when riding at 65 miles per hour, a drizzle can seem like a downpour and the sun coming out from behind the clouds can feel like a heat wave. This means that you’ll be affected by even the smallest changes in the weather, and you need to be ready for any and all types of weather.
Carrying More Gear
Commuting to work on a bike also requires that you carry more stuff than what you need only for work. You’ll need emergency supplies such as a canister pump flat kit, gear for rain and (depending on where you live) snow, anti-theft devices, microfiber towels, disc locks, and much more. You need to be ready for anything and everything that you may meet to and from work and in as small a backpack or motorcycle luggage as possible.
Along with the many perks, there are some perils and concerns for those who are dedicated motorcycle commuters. The weather can be intolerable, the traffic unbearable, and the need to carry extra gear insufferable but those who truly enjoy their bikes get to ride it before work and no matter how tough the day is, get to ride it as soon as the day ends.