Shake up your bike commute with these tips to help keep you motivated.

Or, how to be creative when it comes to commuting.

Taking the same bike route day in and day out gets the job done for sure but what if going from A to B was less of a straight shot and more of ramble? Shaking up your bike commute will not only banish boredom, it will also spark your motivation and even inspire you to think differently about your chosen method of mobility. Bike commuting frees you up to make your own choices about how to reach your destination because you are only limited by your own creativity. For a little inspiration, here are some suggested tips to keep up (your) commuter motivation.

  • Plan a different route – Play a game of “connect the dots” by looking at an online map to see if you can plan a new route to connect features like green spaces (parks, bikeways, paths etc.), architectural marvels, or historical sites or monuments. Learn about your surroundings and then impress your friends with your local knowledge!
  • Go multi-modal – If the public transportation system where you are allows bikes, extend your commute to someplace new by riding in one direction and taking public transportation in the other. This can pay huge fitness dividends if, for example, you take a train to a far-flung destination and your only return option is to ride your bike.
  • Try a different bike – This is a proven solution in mountain biking when you want to make old routes new again, all you have to do is swap out your bike. This is also true for commuting where a different bike may also enable you to include new ride elements, like dirt paths, gravel roads, or even stairs.
  • Make the ride your workout – The bicycle is regarded as the world’s most efficient machine. Now you can be equally as efficient by building a workout into your commute. Maybe there’s a hill along the way where you can do a few hill repeats. Or maybe there’s a measured stretch that’s perfect for some sprint work. Or maybe you just take the long way around to squeeze in some extra mileage.
  • Say “hi” to people that you pass – Spread the joy for bike commuting with a friendly greeting to other commuters, runners, walkers, or people just out for a stroll. When you think about it, a plain old smile and a “hello” go far in spreading good will, plus you’ll be on the receiving end when people return your kind gestures.
  • Build rewards into your commute – Do you have a favourite coffee drink or treat that’s more of a special occasion than an every day expectation? Or maybe there’s a small luxury (perhaps a new bike?) that’s worth working toward. You can build rewards into your commute in a variety of ways. For example, target the coffee drink or treat that takes you outside of your routine commute and schedule it in every now and then. Or set a goal to reward yourself after commuting so many days/miles/weeks etc. Don’t leave out rewarding yourself – even if it’s a self-congratulatory pat on the back for your efforts. Remember, if commuting by bike were easier than driving or taking public transportation, everyone would do it!

You already know that commuting by bike puts you in control of your own mobility, which allows you far more freedom than other methods of transportation. However bike commuting can become boring too, but unlike driving or taking the bus or train, your alternative options are as diverse as you make them.