On Monday, in the middle of tornado sirens, I found myself on the interstate passing by the Cool Springs Blvd exit. Harpeth Bicycles is just around the corner, and I needed to get out of the rain, so I pulled off and stopped in. I had a great time while waiting out the storm! Fred and Lindsay already had a bike picked out for me! I hopped on to make sure it fit right, then we walked around the store looking at all the neat commuter accessories. Here are a few things I checked out:
- Storage rack. For any commuter in need of extra storage, a rack ban be installed over the rear tire. I can either bungee cord hard items directly to the rack, or I can zip tie something like a milk crate to it to function as a basket for groceries.
- Commuter Computer. This cool little gadget looks something like a pedometer for the bike. It keeps track of mileage, calories burned, estimated time of arrival, and carbon offset, along with many other fun features.
- Custom bike seat. If for any reason the standard bike seat isn’t working for me, I can pick out a different one that meets my needs (whatever they may be).
- Bike lights. Any commuter should be prepared to ride in the dark. Flashing bike lights can be installed on both the front and back of the bike, along with reflective tape for the body and tires of the bike (even your helmet). I plan to also carry around my headlamp so I can point a light in the direction I’m looking.
- Helmet, of course! If you don’t already have a helmet, be sure to pick one out that fits you properly. While I was in the shop, a customer came in with a cracked helmet. That thing saved his life, literally! The helmet should cover your forehead just above the eyebrows with no more than 2-3 fingers width between the neck strap and your chin.
- Padded shorts. If you’re a horseback rider, think of cycling long distance without padding like riding bareback on a horse… it’ll hurt your bum! There are a variety of padded shorts to choose from, all depending on your style. If you’re looking for the hardcore biker look, there are spandex shorts and bibs that will keep the padding in place. But, if you’re planning on commuting from home to meetings or the grocery store and don’t want to look like a total nerd, they also make padded board shorts. The padding is an insert (similar to padded boxer briefs), so you can still look good if you don’t have time to change right away.
- Race jerseys. Race jerseys are great for commuting. Even if you aren’t a racer, the material is quick drying with pockets in the back to store your water bottle, phone, nutrition bars, etc. I’ll be sporting a Harpeth Bicycles Race Team jersey!
For anyone interested in participating in the Commit to Commute Challenge, keep an eye on the Team Green Adventures calendar for an information session at the Harpeth Bikes shop and some commuter safety workshops in the coming weeks!
-Keeley Reed, Team Green Director