Good idea! If you live in Northwest Arkansas, it’s never been easier to ditch your car and ride a bike instead. To work, to school, to the grocery store… all of these are doable, and most are easily accessible in both Washington and Benton counties, via the Razorback Greenway. Bikes are becoming a more common sight on the road, too, as our reputation as the “Mountain Bike Capital of the World” takes hold and people travel here from all over to see what the fuss is all about.
From a practical standpoint, virtually any bike can be used to commute. If you rode a bike as a kid, you know how bare-bones bikes were compared to what is available now. Carbon fiber frames, bluetooth shifters, dropper seats…those all fall under the nice-to-have category, especially when your car breaks down and the only help you have available is hanging in the garage, all forlorn and ignored. But you don't have to wait for an emergency to cycle to work.
Run through the ABCs of bike safety (air, brakes, chain), and adjust (or buy) your helmet then get started today with these five first steps.
Plan ahead, and stash your necessities at the office. Some clean clothes for quick changes, deodorant, your work shoes, a makeup bag for touchups, protein bars or shakes for breakfast, plus your vitamins and some electrolyte powder will get you started. As your week progresses, keep a list of the things you wish you had, and bring those in your backpack the next day. Keeping a bag under your desk is not cheating!
Backpack: You’ll want to keep this light. This is why it’s best to have a bag at work, so you don’t weigh yourself down schlepping your stuff all over town.
Lights: If there’s even a slim chance you’ll be riding before or after the sun is out, a light for the front, and another for the rear are essential. These are mainly so others can see you. Add another headlamp to help you navigate after dark.
Practice your route: Once you’ve decided to do this, drive the route a couple times if possible, then take the bike to work and back at least once before the big day.
With a little planning, the right equipment, and the infrastructure already in place in NWA, there’s no better time than the present to cycle to work. Remember, ANY bike can be a commuter bike, and the best one to ride to work is one you already have.
Both NWA Workplaces locations are accessible right from the Greenway. No sketchy crosswalks or busy roads to navigate, bike storage in the lobby, and our famous $1 snack bar make getting to work by bike easy, enjoyable, and effortless. Call, text, email or just stop by anytime. We'd love to see you!