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Say hello to Tiago from Lisbon, Portugal! He is glad to share about his bike commuting experience, and hopes that you would give it a try. Maybe if you give it a shot, you’ll find yourself “catching the bug” like him.
Occupation: Energy and Environment Engineer
Commute Distance: 2.5 miles
What got you started? Bike sharing appeared recently in Lisbon and I started using it (many of the bicycles are e-bikes). So that got me into riding a bike again after more than 10 years. So I “caught the bug” and recently I bought my own bike and gradually started using it more and more. Now I use it almost everyday.
Any stories from your commute? From a big truck grazing me and scaring me to death, to words of incentive shouted from a passing car (I have to beat a very steep hill to go back home from work), to people looking at me like I’m crazy for riding in the rain, to a total stranger in a car asking me if I remember him from earlier at the kebab place (I wasn’t anywhere near any kebab place that day), I can say commuting by bike is never boring.
What is one thing you wish you knew before starting to bike commute? I wish I knew that my bicycle was sensitive when it comes to shifting gears. It would have saved me a lot of oily hands when the bike chain kept coming off.
What Kind of Bike & Where did You Get it? I bought a used mountain bike from a friend. Lisbon has some rough roads and tram tracks, so a road bike isn’t the best option.
Anything else you’d like to share about bike commuting? Bike commuting doesn’t have to happen overnight. It’s fine to start slow. There are some obstacles, but there’s also nothing quite like it. Please don’t give in to road rage, leave that to the people inside the metal cans. Enjoy the wind on your face and smile!
What gear do you routinely carry for your commute? I carry a small backpack with food and water for the day. Most days I take my helmet. If it’s raining I’ll take gloves and a rain coat. Most importantly, I take my most prized possession: my bike horn. It allows you to honk at people without the aggressiveness of a car horn. People step out of the way, and many times with a smile on their faces (and mine!). I definitely recommend it, but please use it right! With great honking power comes great responsibility!