Bike to Work: The Essentials

It’s been a couple of months since I last rode my bike to work, and it’s been even longer since I last posted on this blog of mine!

I’m back on the saddle now, kicking off Season 4 of my bike2work adventures in a brand new location in Pasig City. It’s great to be back flying! 😉

When word got around in the office of decent bike parking and shower facilities in our new location, a lot of guys got interested in doing bike commuting as well. Who wouldn’t, given the sorry state of transport systems in Manila?

I thought of coming up with a “recipe” of important things to bring when bike commuting. This is a list of what works for me, and it would depend on each person to customize stuff as necessary. I sure hope this helps anyone considering bike commuting.

To bring along for the Ride

Dahon Vitesse D7

  1. Your bike – obviously! I use my trusty three-year old Dahon Vitesse D7 for my bike commute. It’s still debatable which kind of bike is best for bike commuting, but portability-wise, it’s a folding bike, hands down.
  2. Bike standard toolkit – it’s essential that any bike commuter knows his/her way with the bike!Bike First Aid Kit
    1. bike pump – always, always, always make sure that your bike’s tires have the right pressure, every day. If you’re doing it for your car, you should do the same for your bike.
    2. patch kit – usually costing only ₱30-60 from your favorite bike shop.
    3. tire levers – optional, but quite helpful to ease with removing / replacing the tire on the rim
    4. repair tools, i.e., hex key (“allen”) wrench, multi-tool
  3. Protective gear
    1. helmet – always keep in mind: No helmet, No ride!
    2. mask – balaclava, totobobo masks, or even the typical 3M masks sold in drugstores. You wouldn’t want to inhale too much of that smog enveloping Manila, no?
    3. headlights, rear lights – by the time you log-out of the office, it’s already pretty dark. Aside from avoiding city ordinances’ penalties on not using lights, it’s mostly an issue of visibility and safety.

      bike accessories

      Bike rear light, headlight, a bell, and the bike chain (MasterLock brand).

  4. Bike chain lock – quite the necessity to secure your bike. Unless you’re a folding bike user like me who has the option to bring the bike wherever I go.
  5. hydration – Bring a water bottle. Manila’s climate is unforgiving to those who fail to drink up!

To leave at the office

  1. Complete set of clothing – it would be good if you can bring a week’s worth of clothing so you don’t have to bring one set with you every day
  2. Toiletries – shower facilities babeh!! So you might as well bring soap, shampoo, comb and other personal effects you can think of. Don’t forget the towel hahaha!
  3. Shoes – I just leave my black leather shoes at the office. Just be aware that there might be days that you are not going to bike commute, so plan accordingly, lest you go to office with a shoes unmatched with your get-up!
  4. Extra plastic bags – for soiled clothing to bring at the end of the day

And before I end this article, always keep in mind — SAFETY FIRST! As is the same with being a pedestrian and a motorist, always have presence of mind on the road. Ride safe, and enjoy!


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