Bike Commute: Problems

Only a few days into my quest to be a bicycle commuter, I've already encountered a few problems which require solutions, which means I need some help...
Problem: There's tons of sand and grit on the road, which is completely understandable post-winter, but still unacceptable. On some road I had to ride 3ft from the curb to avoid the sand, and on a couple residential streets there are actually 'sand dunes'
Solution: This is out of my control. Hopefully the city cleans up the streets soon.
Problem: My forehead gets all sweaty after a long ride.
Solution: I've heard wearing a bandana helps. I know I have one somewhere...
Problem: My hair looks terrible after being in a helmet.
Solution: Hmm, I'm not quite sure what to do about this one yet...
Problem: How can I avoid showing up for work all sweaty?
Solution: I guess I could bring a change of clothes to work (at least another shirt). This brings up the issue of panniers vs. backpack which I haven't considered fully yet. I don't ride super fast, so really, this might not even be an issue.
Problem: I'm at the mercy of the weather.
Solution: I live in Alberta, which is the 'land of drought and forest fires', so rain isn't necessarily a huge issue (although one I'm not sure about handling, not riding in the rain is the solution to that, except is supposed to rain for like the next 10 days, grr). Lately, it's the wind that's been crazy, and besides not riding, I have no other solutions.
Problem: My pant cuffs get dirty.
Solution: I guess I need to find some ankle straps.
Problem: Is it safe, as a woman, to ride my bike downtown?
Solution: Um, yes? It's just the ghetto of Chinatown, no biggie, right? I wont be riding at night for starters.
Problem: My parents think this is a very bad, very stupid, and very dangerous idea.
Solution: Yes I'm an adult, but I'm also a student living in their spare bedroom. As long as I don't get hit by a car or mugged (see #7) I should be ok.
Any other problems I should consider, or solutions to these ones? Comments appreciated...


  1. Air pump for flat tires...
    Bike tool kit, flat tire kit would be good ideas.

  2. I've been biking into work for 3 years during the spring, summer and early fall and for three years I've had bad hair during that time peroid. No much to do about it unless you don't wear a helmet, which definitely is a stupid, dangerous idea. I also wear biking clothing (including different socks and shoes) when I'm commuiting into work and change in the bathroom. I don't think I'm the only one in the office who does it.


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