Jamie is a freelance writer and editor from Oregon.
So, you’re thinking about commuting to work on a motorcycle. It makes good sense – according to ridetowork.org, commutes go quicker on two wheels, it’s easier to find a parking space and you’ll save a bunch of money on gas, too. Here are some tips to help you arrive stylishly and safely at work:
How are you going to transform from biker dude to professional employee? There are a variety of motorcycle accessories available to help you pack and protect your clothes during your commute. Fold a suit carefully into a waterproof saddlebag or messenger bag so it stays wrinkle-free and dry. Remember to store your shoes in a plastic bag so they don’t track dirt all over your suit. You can always leave clean shirts and ties in your closet or desk drawer at work, too. When you get there, shed your biker persona and freshen up in the men’s room.
Combat Helmet Hair
Helmets are a serious issue; they protect you from brain injury and save lives. They come in a variety of styles, including open-face, half-coverage and full-face, just make sure to wear one that fits snugly.
Helmet hair is a serious issue, too. Unless you’re going for the pop star look, you don’t want to spend the day at work with messed up hair. No one will even suspect you rode your bike to work when you follow these helmet hair deterrents:
- Wear your hair short
- Braid your long hair or tie it into a ponytail
- Buy a ventilated helmet that reduces sweat
- Wear a skullcap or bandana under your helmet
- Use dry shampoo when you arrive at the office
Avoid Blind Spots- You can’t rely on other drivers to be careful. While you’re focused on the ride to work, they’re putting on make-up, yelling at the kids or talking on their phones. If you can’t see the faces of other vehicles’ drivers in their mirrors, they can’t see you. Be constantly aware of this fact. It’s OK to ride slightly faster than traffic is going to avoid sitting in someone’s blind spot.
Plan for Mistakes- Anticipate that other drivers will make mistakes. They don’t use their turn signals, maintain safe distances behind other vehicles or provide advance notice when they’re ready to zip off the freeway. As a commuter on two wheels, it’s vital you pay attention and plan for their driving mistakes.
Practice- Whether you’re an experienced rider or recently bought a bike, you always want to be prepared. Find an empty parking lot, set up a few traffic cones and practice navigating them. After you’re comfortable with your machine, drive the route to your job. Practice in a variety of weather conditions and during sunny and dark skies.
Be safe, look great, save money and time – what more could you ask for?