Ditch The Car: The Marin Guide To Everyday Cycling

Ever considered cycling as a mode of transport? Here's our guide to choosing two wheels over four and cycling more for those everyday journeys.

Golden Gate Bridge with Cyclist in foreground

Switch Gas Power for Pedal Power

If you’re reading this, you probably agree that riding bikes is a great thing to do, right?

But finding time for cycling alongside all of those ‘real life’ responsibilities can be a real challenge.

Here's an idea. Why not switch some car journeys for bike journeys?

We're not talking about long drives or every single car journey. But for many people, daily life involves plenty of short trips that could easily be done by bike.

Studies show that over half of motor vehicle trips are under five miles. That's a whole load of driving time that could be spent on a bike.

And we like being on bikes, right?

woman riding towards camera on road

Why Cycle Instead of Drive?

There’s a whole load of benefits to swapping car journeys for cycling journeys.

Cycling is great for your physical and mental health. It’s great for the environment. It reduces congestion on our roads. It’s cheaper than driving. It’s often quicker than driving. And, of course, it’s fun.

The list goes on.

man on drop bar bike with orange wall behind

Commute to work by bike

If your workplace isn't too far from home and is in a fixed location, you could consider cycling to work.

Even a short regular bike ride offers a whole load of fitness benefits, and it's more cost-effective than joining a spin class. If you’re often sat in traffic or have to hunt for a parking space, cycling might even be more convenient than driving.

If your office lacks dedicated bike storage or limited space, talk to your facilities manager about finding a secure place for your bike. Some regions provide financial support for installing secure bike parking, or you could inquire if a neighboring business rents out bike storage spaces.

Tip: Remind your boss that bike parking is great value. You can park 10 bikes in the space a single car requires in the parking lot.

And don’t forget about keeping your bike safe when it’s parked up. Invest in a sturdy bike lock that you can leave at work and ask your Marin Dealer about any security upgrades you can make to your bike. For on-the-go security, compact U-locks or wearable locks are more convenient than lengthy chains.

Remember to always lock your bike to something secure and make sure both wheels and your frame are tied-down. And don’t forget to remove anything that might be tempting to thieves such as lights, GPS computers etc.

woman cycling next to houses

Many workplaces offer employees showers, changing rooms and storage. Gold star if your employer is one of those.

If those things aren’t available, don’t despair. You might have a nearby gym, sports centre or similar that’s close enough to do the trick. Or simply adjust the intensity of your ride to avoid getting too hot on your cycle to work.

Cycling in regular clothes is also more feasible than we often assume. Just look at European cities where many people ride bikes in office clothes. There are also loads of manufacturers offering "urban" bike clothing that looks smart while still performing well on a bike.

Weather may seem like a barrier, but it's often more manageable than you might think. Investing in mudguards keeps you and your bike cleaner on rainy days, and your existing outdoor clothes can handle most weather conditions.

Don’t be afraid to select a route to work that suits your style. If you prefer rides that avoid busy roads in favor of bike paths or trails, go for it. If possible, test the route beforehand to be ready for your first day of cycle commuting. There are plenty of online mapping websites or apps to help!

Don’t miss our Essential Guide To Winter Commuting By Bike here.

woman with ebike outside cafe

Spin to the shops

The big monthly shop, or trip to the hardware store might be a bit much for your bike, but how about those smaller, quick trips to the grocery store?

It’s easy to grab tonight’s meal, a few beers or a carton of milk by bike. And the more you do, the more you’ll notice you can carry.

For trips to the shops by bike, a backpack or messenger bag will usually do. If your bike can accommodate a rack (which all of Marin's gravel and commuter models can), you can add panniers or a basket for comfortable transportation of heavier items.

Frame bags are also good, and will double up for bike packing on the weekends.

Cycling allows you to lock up our bike right outside the store, making it convenient to dash in and grab what you need. No hunting for parking spaces, paying for the car park or walking round the block to the store.

woman sitting on fence next to ebike looking at ocean

And all of those other trips!

Bikes aren’t just for cycling to work or to the grocery store though.

There are so many everyday trips you can do on two wheels. Ride to the gym, the park, or even the local bar.

Adding a child seat or trailer enables you to bring your kids along too - perfect for trips to school, to grandma’s or just for a ride in the great outdoors. The more you ride, the more opportunities you’ll see to replace car with bike.

Don't miss our guide to daily cycling with kids here.

If you plan to use your bike pretty regularly, consider the storage location at home. If it’s easy to access and always ready to go, chances are you’ll use it more. If it’s stuck behind the mower, deep in the garage it’s never going to be more convenient than the truck.

Riding at night? Be safe, be seen. Bike lights increase safety and unlock a whole load of extra bicycle trips. Decent bike lights with built-in rechargeable batteries are affordable, easy to fit and remove and (in many countries) are a legal requirement on the roads.

Marin Muirwoods against rusty metal door

What Bike For Daily Cycling Journeys?

While any bike can be used for daily trips, there are advantages to having one specifically designed for everyday cycling.

Not all high-end bikes are suitable for carrying extra cargo and many lack practical features like rack and mudguard mounts. That mountain bike or gravel bike in your garage might be ideal for the trails, but probably isn't quite so perfect for zipping round town.

Having a dedicated workhorse bike allows you to keep lights, mudguards, and racks permanently attached and is always ready to grab-and-go at a moment's notice.

green Marin drop bar bike

What's the best bike for cycling to work? That all depends on your journey.

For longer commutes, we'd recommend the Marin Lombard, our quintessential commuter. Drop bars, lightweight alloy frame, fast-rolling 700C wheels. A real A-to-B machine.

Or for something a little more off-beat, there's the Marin Nicasio, our cool-as-a-cucumber steel-framed, drop-bar mile muncher. It'll go the distance in the week on the roads, and be a blast on the weekends on the trails.

Both bikes can be fully loaded with racks, bags, mudguards, kid's seats and trailers. Or stripped right back to be lightweight, speedy and simple. Your choice!

Fast and Light

Not everyone wants to ride fully loaded, low and slow. The speedsters will want a bike that's lightweight and simple, fast on the roads and able to cover some ground.

Speedy commuters will love the Marin Lombard, our quintessential go-getter. Drop bars, lightweight alloy frame, fast-rolling 700C wheels. A real A-to-B machine.

Flat bar fan? We've got you with the Marin Presidio, our purpose-built and super modern daily driver. Upright geometry is safe and comfortable and a unique, belt-drive design is zero hassle mile after mile.
silver marin drop bar bike
Marin bike leaning against gate

Marin ebike with ocean in background

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