How to Incorporate Bike Commuting into your Daily Life

Incorporating Bike Commuting Into Your Daily Life

Written by Joseph Bonacci, on May 24, 2024

As May is officially Bike Month, it is worth considering how you can incorporate bike commuting more into your daily life. Too often you see people preaching an all-or-nothing approach to it, for example, “You should never drive a car or else you hate the environment,” but that is an unrealistic approach. The key to it is using your bike for trips when you can, for shorter trips to the store, running to kid’s soccer games, or even incorporating it into your trips to work. 

Colby's commuter bike Bridgestone classic build

At the end of the day, all you really need is a bike. You don’t need a nice bike to commute or a designated commuter rig, any bike will do (although a smooth riding bike or a little e-assistance never hurts). Riding to work on my road and mountain bike is easy for me because I can have fun on the way in and there is a safe place for me to store it. In Salt Lake City, the fault line can be a disincentive for commuting, because of the steep gradient that is unavoidable in many parts of the city, but what few people realize is how fun the descent down it can be on the way home. Bike commuting also helps you learn your city better, removing the ease of navigating with a GPS, you can see more parts of the city, find new routes that you wouldn’t take in a car, and cut through parks or take bike paths to add some variety to your day.  


There are many different reasons to consider bike commuting. Isaac, a fellow Contender staff member, keeps it simple by riding his bike on any trip under six miles. For shorter distances, bike commuting is often faster than in a car, and when you get to where you’re going it’s easier to find a place to ‘park,’ especially in urban centers like Sugarhouse, 9th and 9th, or Downtown where parking is limited or expensive. Another good reason to bike commute is you feel better about yourself, on days when you work long hours or are just busy throughout the day and don’t have time to ride, a 15-minute bike commute can be the much-needed break and reset needed in the day. The biggest hurdle when choosing to bike commute is the action of doing it. It is easy to get caught up in the habit of driving so it does take forcing yourself to ride a few times before you naturally see it as an option. And no one will judge you if you’re just a fair-weather commuter, nothing is worse than getting your socks wet before a long day. 


While you can commute with pretty much anything you have on hand, there are a few products that are great for aiding your bike commute. The Rapha Backpack is my go-to for everyday use. Water-resistant, with a roll top, makes it easy to use for bike commuting. I have been using one daily for three years. Besides a little bit of wear on the lower back, the backpack has held up and been fantastic in all the weather conditions Salt Lake City can throw at it. Rapha has two options for the backpack, a 20L and 30L, making it so you can get the perfect size for your daily use. 

Joseph riding a bike on the bike path.

For those planning to commute in inclement weather, fenders are a must. I have a small set of Ass Saver fenders which are easily installed on any of my bikes that are a godsend on rainy days. If your bike has fender mounts, a comprehensive fender from a brand like Topeak will provide better coverage than the Ass Savers, keeping you completely clean and dry when there is water on the roads. If you are looking for a set of fenders, swing by the shop and we can help you find the perfect fender for you. They come in all shapes and sizes, meaning there is no wheel too wide for a set of nice fenders. 

While your mountain or road helmet can work for commuting, a designated helmet for commuting can be a lifesaver in certain situations. SCOTT has a pair of commuting helmets, the Il Doppio and the La Mokka, that both have built-in lights into the helmets. Having a light on your helmet can alert cars more than a typical seatpost-mounted light would as the light is mounted at most driver’s natural sight line. With an easily rechargeable design, you can have the helmet charge at work or home in between commutes. These helmets offer more coverage than your standard road helmets, keeping you a little safer if you do go down on your commute. 

Joseph wearing a Scott helmet.

The last thing you need for commuting is a solid set of gloves. The Giro Xnetic H2O gloves are an amazing option for gloves, as they are waterproof but also breathable. Keeping your hands dry and warm will keep you happy and safe. Cold hands can make it hard to shift, brake and even steer, so ensuring their comfort is paramount for a safe bike commute. 


Bike commuting is a great thing to incorporate into your daily life. Why spend money on gas when you don’t have to? If you have an older mountain bike or road bike that you want to set up to be your daily commuter bring it by the shop and we will update it to make it a commuter's dream. Plus we have plenty of e-assist commuting options!


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published