What happens if I bike to work and it rains or thunderstorms later in the day making my commute home dangerous? There will always be some excuse for those not inclined to ride their bike to work but this is actually one that's worth discussing.
If you remember our tip from last year than I'll spare you from the Wicked Witch of the East syndrome explanation (however, if you would like more information on it, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org). However, a simple rain shower doesn't have to damper your enthusiasm for riding your bike to work. Here are some options:
1 - If it's just a shower proper clothing like a rain jacket and/or pants will keep you dry enough to ride into/back from work.
2 - Fenders on your bicycle will also help keep water spray off your back and help keep your bike cleaner.
3 - A helmet cover can be used if you don't have a hood to keep your head dry.
4 - Reduce tire pressure if your tire's are already pumped up to optimal pressure. This will help keep your tires from slipping on roads going around corners.
5 - Berks County's bus service BARTA has a Bike-N-Ride program. Call ahead 12 hours before you plan to leave and let them know which stop/schedule you would like to use so a bike rack can be installed. Ride to/from work while taking BARTA for the other part of your trip. See more information about BARTA at www.bartabus.com. Let them know your desire for racks on all buses making it more convenient and accessible to choose routes.
6 - Check out PA Commuter Services at www.pacommuterservices.com. They arrange for car pooling/van pooling and emergency ride home services, and you may be able to arrange for a pickup. If you need to you could leave your bike at the office then take your car, bus or carpool the next day.
7 - Check out www.weather.com and click on the "detail" information for hourly updates. Often a meteorolgist will tell you there's rain or thunderstorm coming for sometime in the afternoon, but if you check out the hourly forecast you'll get good percent chances of rain for each hour on the hour. You may be able to ride in the morning just prior to expected rainfall and then ride home later in the day staying dry if it's expected to not last all day. I check this website daily and has been a great tool for not wasting a bike commute!
8 - As a last resort if you need to. . . call your spouse to pick you up. It may not be the best alternative to relieving traffic congestion and may cause some "ill will" with your spouse.
With these tips in mind along with the re-introduction of The A-Team movie coming out later this summer you'll be able to say with a smile on your face as Col John "Hannibal" Smith would say . . . "I love it when a plan comes together!"