Blog :: 09-2013

Tips for Montclair Bicycle Commuters

bicyclecommuterAccording to the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans are increasingly choosing to live in walkable communities, like Montclair, where there are more transportation choices that allow residents to live free of traffic jams and closer to their jobs, shopping and schools. The personal freedom, minimized carbon footprint, and cost-saving routines combine to create a vibrant and less stressful way of life.

While the notion of commuting at least part way by bike sounds idyllic, forewarned is definitely forearmed. Here are some tips to consider before strapping on your helmet and loading your briefcase onto the luggage rack.

Unless your office has a handy shower available to you, consider carefully what you to choose to wear on your commute. There's nothing worse than arriving sweaty with no reasonable way to freshen up. Ride slowly, and choose clothing that breathes. Always carry a packable rain jacket, preferably one with armpit zippers, which you can throw on quickly in the event of rain or brisk winds.

Saddlebags are a great way to carry your gear - lock, pump, tools, raincoat, lunch, laptop, what have you. Choose a model that's weatherproof. It will keep rain, snow and puddles at bay. They also keep the weight off your back, letting you balance your bicycle for optimum stability. Most come with quick release catches, allowing you to grab and go once you've parked the bike for the day.

Don't forget about the bike. Keeping your bike in good condition and well-tuned is the best way to minimize the amount of energy it will take to ride back and forth to work or the station. Check your tire pressure regularly, and make sure that your gears are properly adjusted.

Bicycle or multi-modal commuting is a great way to enjoy both the urban experience as well as the great outdoors, and Montclair offers the best of both. Built before the advent of the automobile, it is pedestrian-friendly and architecturally eclectic, and I'd love to help you make it your home. Visit my website, give me a call on my mobile at 973-809-5277, or send me an email at info@walkablesuburb.com, and let's find you the perfect Montclair home.

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      Back to School Safely in Montclair

      Kids-Walk-to-SchoolIt's official - summer is all but over. So the next item on Montclair's agenda must be back to school. What makes this year even better than most is that three of Montclair's elementary schools, and the township as a whole, have been recognized by the NJ Safe Routes to School program for their work toward making Montclair a safe place for our children to walk or ride their bicycles to school.

      An important component of the Safe Routes to School initiative is parent and PTA involvement in the program. Edgemont Montessori, Bradford, Charles H. Bullock, and the Montclair Township have all pledged their continued efforts to encourage walking and biking to school, and to ensure that safety remains a primary concern. For example, at Edgemont, the Boltage system - a sensor that automatically records the arrivals and departures of children carrying tags embedded with a chip - lets parents track their children's arrivals and departures online. In addition, schools host Walk to School days, and organize walking buses for their students throughout the year, even during the colder months.

      The statewide initiative supports schools and communities in their efforts to create safe routes for walking and biking to school. The benefits are healthier, more active children, less traffic and better air quality as well as fewer traffic conflicts near our schools. It also raises overall awareness about making our communities better places to live. Alex Kent, Montclair's Safe Routes to School coordinator, concurs, saying, "...we see our children making connections and choices that set positive patterns that can last a lifetime."

      While Montclair has always been a superb place to raise a family, we're also committed to keeping those values moving forward. Community support for healthy lifestyles is an important component of life here, and I'd like to offer my support by helping you find your perfect Montclair home. Call me at 973-809-5277, or email me at info@walkablesuburb.com, and let's make you the newest member of our Walkable Suburb.

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