Monday, February 11, 2008

Three Things You Need to Commute By Motorcycle

There are a great many experts out on the web more than happy to tell you everything you need to commute by motorcycle, or any other alternative transportation. Usually they present an intimidating list of things to acquire before you even think of attempting to get to work outside the safety of an automobile. Bicycle commuters need - at a minimum – panniers, a helmet, spandex shorts, a headlight, spares of everything, a change of clothes, wet naps to clean up at the showerless office and on and on. Just getting on your bicycle and getting to your office is unthinkable. There are similar lists for motorcycle commuters.

Riding to work is not that daunting. Really. You only need the following three things to commute by motorcycle.

  1. A place you work at. If you don’t have a destination that you are obliged to reach, daily, it’s not really a commute, is it? This one is pretty obvious, and I don’t think I need to explain it any further. You’ve probably got this already.
  2. A Motorcycle. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably got this covered. If not, find a motorcycle you’d like riding daily. If it’s economical to maintain, even better.
  3. A thing to carry your stuff in. You’ve probably got this covered. Me, I use a Timbuk2 messenger bag. In the past I’ve used a backpack (one that was ten years old. Jansport rules.) and a tank bag. I like the messenger bag because it’s easier to get on over the armor of my jacket than a backpack. The tank bag is nice when you want to look at a map or directions, but I prefer having a bag I can carry hands free. I understand there are tank bags available with shoulder straps, so you can get the best of both worlds.

That’s it. If you have those three things, you can reasonably start commuting to work immediately.

You should, of course, learn how to ride your motorcycle properly, if you haven’t already. And you should invest in some good protective riding gear if you don’t have it. But otherwise, get yourself on your bike and ride it to work, to the grocery store, or anywhere else you need to get to. You know you want to.


Becky said...

OK, you've talked me into it. I'm going to ride to work tomorrow no matter what. I have all three things except the carrying thing. I use a 20 year old backpack! Must get saddlebags soon.


Orin said...

Your advice applies to scooters as well.

Scootin' Old Skool

Lucky said...

Becky - Something tells me you ride to work already...

Orin - I don't mean to exclude scooters. Scooters are even better for riding to work, what with the low low gas consumption and the super-high maneuverability.

irondad said...

Works for me. Get out there and do it first, then tweak as you go.

Glad you mentioned learning to ride well. As you may have guessed, that's kinda close to my heart!