Bicycling is a healthy, economical, and environmentally friendly way to get to work. According to the 2019 American Community Survey, more than 800,000 people in the U.S. bike to work each day. Learn how you can commute by bike conveniently, safely, and comfortably. Our biking tips and maps are useful for recreational riding too!

Benefits of Biking

Piggy bank

Cost Savings

You don’t need to fill up a bike at a gas station. You also avoid fares, tolls, and parking fees.

Eco friendly environment

Pollution Reduction

Biking instead of driving lowers the overall production of emissions that harm the environment.

Physical Fitness

Biking bolsters heart health, boosts endurance, and builds muscle.

Mental Health

You can lower your stress and improve your mood by avoiding traffic jams while exercising outdoors.

How To Commute by Bike

To bike all or part of the way to work, you have several options:

  • Use your region’s rider rewards app or your favorite mapping tool to find bike routes to your workplace. To assess the safety of route segments that require sharing the road with motor vehicles, drive them during your usual commute times. Do they seem safe for bicyclists? Then bike the route on a day off to make sure it fits your commute time and fitness level.
  • Combine biking with public transit by biking to a bus stop, metro station, or train station. In many cases, you can take your bike with you the rest of the way: Many Virginia transit buses have bike racks, and Metro and VRE allow bikes on board.
  • Check for bike share programs in your area, like the ones that serve Richmond and parts of Northern Virginia. These programs let you rent a bike for short trips by picking them up and dropping them off at designated stations.

Biking Safety Tips

Maintain Your Bike

Regularly inspect your bike with an ABC Quick Check of the tires, brakes, cranks, and chain. Know how to fix a flat tire and do minor repairs. Carry a pump, repair kit, and spare inner tube.

Wear a Helmet — Properly

Helmets significantly reduce the chance of head injury in a fall or collision. Make sure your helmet fits properly, and always replace it after a crash: You may not see damage, but the foam materials will not be able to protect your head and brain from a second impact. 

See and Be Seen

Wear bright, reflective clothing and accessories to make yourself highly visible to others on the road. Install flashing lights on the front and rear of your bike. Use hand signals and be very clear about your intentions when changing lanes or turning corners.

Hear and Be Heard

Do not wear headphones or earbuds! You need to hear what’s going on around you to stay safe. Use a bike bell or your LOUD voice to alert pedestrians and other bicyclists that you are coming up behind them. Give them plenty of advance notice before you pass. 

Stay Alert

Don’t assume drivers will notice you; try to make eye contact when you need to be sure they see you. Expect cars to make rolling stops. Watch for cars pulling out of parking spaces and people exiting cars parked on the street; try to stay farther away from parked vehicles than the width of the doors. 

Consider Weather Conditions

Ventilated clothes help keep you dry and comfortable, especially when it’s hot. When it’s cold, dress in layers so you can remove layers as you warm up. In wet conditions, use rain pants, shoe covers, and fenders or mudguards to stay dry and clean. Be alert for especially slick spots, such as painted lines and leaf-covered pavement.