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Bike Commuting Tips to Beat Traverse City Traffic

There’s a good reason over 3 million people visit Traverse City each summer: it’s incredible. From the beach to the charming downtown, there’s a lot to love about TC – but not the traffic it causes. For visitors and tourists alike, the best way to beat Traverse City traffic is by bike!

Whether you’re a local getting into the habit of commuting by bike or a visitor looking to rent bikes while you’re here, here’s what you need to know.

Basics of Bike Commuting

No matter how often you ride, there are a few key things to remember. You don’t need much to get started – and that’s the beauty of going by bike!

Wear a Helmet

Wearing a helmet isn’t legally required, but think of it this way: if there was a 1% chance of reducing the risk of serious injury to someone you love, you’d do it, right? Then do the same for the people who care about you.

Bring a Lock

Traverse City isn’t known for bike theft, but it certainly happens. Always use a cable lock and park in a public place – the more eyes on it, the better. If you need to park a bike overnight or long periods, consider getting a U-lock.

Be Seen

Michigan law requires the use of a white headlight and red taillight from dusk to dawn. If you’re planning on attending evening events or commuting to work by bike early, grab a set of lights. Even during the day, lights do help drivers see you.

Tips for Commuting by Bike

The best way to make your bike commute more comfortable is to get going! Over the course of a few trips to the store or office, you’ll find out what you need to make riding around Traverse City easier. Here are a few things we’ve picked up along the way.

  1. Bring it with you. Whether you use a backpack or dedicated on-bike panniers, having a safe and comfortable way carry things is huge. Experiment with backpacks or panniers to see how much you need to bring with over a week or two, then let us help you find the perfect bag or rack.
  2. Don’t stink. If you’re commuting to work by bike, your office may not have a shower to freshen up. Wear casual clothes on the ride and switch your ‘fit when you get to work. Pack deodorant and cooling wipes with you, too.
  3. Stash stuff if you can. If your workplace allows, leave a pair of shoes, toiletries and other everyday items there to lighten your load.
  4. Have a few routes handy. Keep your ride fresh by mixing in a slightly different route or two. One of the best parts of bike commuting is getting to really see and connect with the various neighborhoods across town.

What’s The Best Commuter Bike?

Any bike can serve as a commuter bike if it gets you around. As you get more committed to your commute, you might find that racks, panniers, different tires or a more upright riding position make your ride more comfortable. You can make upgrades to your current bike – to a point. Check out our selection of fitness and commuter bikes and let us know when you can come take one for a test ride!

Here For the Ride

No matter what or where you ride, we’re here to keep you rolling. Stop in for the best selection of eBikes, commuter bikes and hybrid bikes in town, not to mention the best rental fleet in Northern Michigan.