BREAK THE MYTHS, ENJOY YOUR RIDE.

     Hello! Thank you for visiting my blog once again as we talk about cycling to working Ghana. On this episode, I will address some of the questions you have asked me over the time and answer as many as I can. I hope after this read, it will help you take a step towards riding to work.  Commuting by bike can be a daunting task, and no doubt about it, even for a seasoned cyclist and pros. Getting to work by bike can mean showing up slightly sweaty and out of breath especially with the kind of temperature in Accra (Ghana), and riding in rush hour traffic can be scary no matter how good you are on a bike. Still, for every excuse to skip your ride commute, there are great reasons to bike to work. As I outlined in my earlier post, cycling is a clear winner over the alternatives as we look for other alternative ways in solving our traffics problems in Ghana. It’s good for the environment, your bank account, your body, and even your sanity. Moreover, it’s just fun with more FREEDOM.One question I have come across most is:

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But one reason trumps them all: convenience. No amount of health or civic benefits will draw most commuters away from the path of least resistance, which usually leads down a traffic-clogged highway.

The truth is that cycling to work isn’t as inconvenient as it may seem. Here are solutions to some of the most common commuting hurdles.

What do you do when you get grossly sweaty?
This one is the most asked or the sweat has been a major concern for many people because of the type of weather we have in Ghana – Hot. But is sweaty so bad?

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js We sweat when we are in traffic in the public buses so what makes it very different from sweating on a bicycle?  If you don’t have a shower at your office, keep a change of clothes at work and use wipes and paper towels to clean yourself off. You can use the #ReubenRides magic pad to cool down: The #ReubenRides magic is a small container with a face towel in water. Before riding, the container with the towel and the water is kept in the refrigerator to freeze, so by the end of the ride, it’s used to keep cool. If you can’t shower, ride a slow, recovery pace. Commuting doesn’t need to be strenuous exercise, and exercise doesn’t need to be strenuous to be beneficial.

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Do you need a special bike?

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The tweet above suggests that to be able to commute on a bicycle you have to get an expensive bike. No this is not entirely true. I didn’t start riding to work on that perfect city bike. Yes, I rode a 26” Norco during my ride across Ghana and yes that bike is expensive. But you can start commuting on a department store bike, or buy from home-use sellers at a less cheaper price, or in my case, I had another bike which is less expensive than the Norco which I use for my rides. There are some very decent bikes which are selling between GHS 300.00 – GHS 400.00

Any bike can be a commuter bike if you commute on it.

Is riding dangerous?

I have had friends who have told me they can only ride in their neighbourhood but can’t ride on the streets and they ask me how I do it. There is risk in everything we do. You can not get a result if you are not ready to take  a risk. Yes! It may be dangerous when riding in Ghana but mind you the road is big enough to accommodate everyone. Let’s address the biggest reason that prevents many of us from traveling by bike: safety. Sure, cycling involves some risk. But so does driving, and walking. I have not had any major accident since I started riding. But unlike driving—which accounts for the most of injuries and fatalities—most of us believe biking and walking counteract their risk by being better for our bodies, brains, wallets, environments, and senses of well-being.

The good news is that bike commuting is on the rise, and as it increases, so does safety and infrastructure.Protected bike lanes and bike paths are making safe commutes easier in cities and suburbs—and increased awareness of cyclists is making riding safer.

Of course there’s a lot you can do yourself to make riding safer, including following the rules of the road, riding predictably, wearing a helmet, putting lights on your bike – be visible. Not only will you raise your collective visibility and feel better about riding in the streets, but you’ll also have a lot more fun.

I hope some of your quesstions have been answered and you have more insight on your riding journey. Do not hesistate to drop a question in the comment box or tweet at me @rgbekoe and let’s keep talking…

 
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