It may be the perfect time to exchange your car or monthly public transportation pass for a fresh set of wheels—bicycle wheels, that is! Philadelphia is climbing the ranks as one of America’s best biking cities, and Camden and Trenton are increasingly adding new bike infrastructure.  In fact, earlier this year Philadelphia’s Center City District released a report showing a 79% jump in the average number of morning bike commuters since 2010.  We’re here to help you join the trend - safely!

Here’s some valuable information for getting started as a bicycle commuter:

Get Comfortable

Biking in and around the city can be intimidating—that’s why the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia offers a number of biking classes for riders of all ability levels. Whether that’s an adult learn-to-ride class, an urban riding basics class or an “explore the Circuit” ride, these professionals will help you understand safety precautions and techniques to ensure you become comfortable with riding in bike lanes, in the road, and on the Circuit Trails.

Choose Your Wheels

There are a lot of different types of bikes out there, and if you’re interested in becoming an active commuter, it’s important that you find the type that works best for you. Whether you decide on a light and fast road bike, a hybrid bike for navigating the busy streets, a convenient folding bike, or a comfort-focused ride, the most important this to consider is how you will use the bike most. Our friends at REI put together an easy guide to help you choose.

If you’re not ready to invest in a bike of your own, bike share is a great alternative. In Philadelphia, Indego stations abound and there are a number of different pricing options to get you started. Don’t forget to BYOH – Bring Your Own Helmet!

Plan Your Trip

Whether you need to traverse the Ben Franklin Bridge across state lines, travel many miles along the Schuylkill River Trail, or you don’t yet know the way, visit the Circuit Trails website to see how trails fit into your commute.

Do you need to plan a multi-modal commute? Utilize GoPhillyGo for safe cycling directions that incorporate public transportation into your route plan. And for all you non-bike-owners, it shows you the nearest Indego stations at both the beginning and end of your trip.

From being more environmentally-friendly to providing great health benefits, bike commuting may be a great option you.  Now put on your helmet and get out there!