Bike or Walk Information

Leave the car at home – your body and your bank account will thank you for bicycling or walking to work.

Biking and walking are two of the easiest ways to commute. Physical activity helps you stay fit, reduce stress, sleep better, and feel better overall. Here are some tips on how to get started. And some more tips for beginners.

You will save thousands of dollars a year, avoid getting stuck in traffic, reduce air pollution, and have fun.

Biking can become part of your daily exercise.

Commuting by bike allows you to arrive at work energized for the day and clear your head as you ride home. If your trip is long, consider biking part of the way and parking your car. Or you can bike to a bus stop and put your bike on the bus.

Still not convinced?

Check out 13 good reasons to commute by bike and the 10 Top Excuses.   Check out these health benefits of bicycling.

Not totally sure how to commute by bike? With a little planning about routes and safety, you can become a confident and skilled rider. Consider these tips for commuting by bike.

Looking for a biking buddy? Register on our free, no-obligation database to find a match. By logging your bicycle commutes, you become eligible for the free commuteSMART club, which includes the Emergency Ride Home program and monthly drawings for prizes.

Bike to Work Week is the third week of May. All over the Seacoast and the country, people will be biking to work – for a day or all week. Find out more about this fun annual event. 

Bike Resources

Bike Tips

Share the road

  • Laws that apply to motorists also apply to people on bikes
  • Bikes are vehicles and should act and be treated as such

Signals and signs

  • Obey all stop signs, traffic lights and lane markings
  • Look and signal before you change lanes or turn


  • If the lane is too narrow or you are going the same speed as traffic, take the lane
  • Be visible and predictable at all times: wear bright clothing, signal and follow the law
  • Wear a helmet
  • Become familiar with NH Rules of the Road for bicyclists and cars

Route choice

  • Consider distance, traffic volume, road width/condition and terrain
  • Some routes may be a bit longer but are much more pleasant
  • Test new routes on the weekend

Bike parking

  • Try to find indoor parking or ask your employer/building owner to provide safe, covered parking
  • Lock your bike to an immovable object in a highly visible area


  • If you have a short commute, ride in your work clothes at a relaxed pace
  • Waterproof and breathable fabrics keep you comfortable and dry
  • Whether or not you plan on changing clothes, it never hurts to keep a spare set at the office


  • Many workplaces have showers located in the building; inquire about access
  • Some health clubs offer shower-only memberships for a few dollars a month
  • If you’re not near shower facilities, baby wipes and other toiletry items can do the trick

The bike

  • Any bike that you feel comfortable on will work; make sure it is in good working order
  • Consider weather protection such as fenders and a rack for carrying capacity
  • Invest in a rechargeable headlight; helmet and handlebar mounts are available


  • Have your bike checked over by your local bike shop
  • Learn how to repair a flat, fix a chain and inspect your brake pads for wear
  • Replace tires when they are worn out


  • Fenders and rain gear help keep you dry
  • Wear layers on cold days
  • When it’s hot, try breathable clothing

From League of American Bicylists, Inc.

Why commute by Bike

Fight pollution

  • Automobiles produce toxic substances that pollute the ground, air and water
  • Burning fossil fuels creates CO2 that contributes to global warming

Stay fit

  • Bike commuting allows you to include a workout in your daily schedule
  • Riding a bike is often less stressful
  • Staying in better shape decreases your chances of getting sick

Avoid traffic delays

  • Off-road trails, bike lanes and wide curb lanes allow you to ride past traffic
  • Bike commuting often takes less time when you account for traffic and delays in public transportation

Save money

  • Maintenance costs for your automobile will decrease, as will your gas bill
  • You will save money on parking (and tickets)
  • You won’t have to have a membership to a gym to workout

Enjoy your commute

  • Arrive at work refreshed and full of energy; ride off stress after work
  • Commuting under your own power gives you a sense of accomplishment
  • Take the long way home and ride through a park or along a local river

List provided by the League of American Wheelmen, Inc.

Arrive at work invigorated and walk off the day’s stress. You may want to start with one or two days a week, gradually building up to full-time, or just staying at part-time. Most walkers commute about a mile (one way) to work, but everyone is different. Here are some suggestions to get started:

  • You don’t need fancy gear to start walking other than a comfortable pair of shoes and appropriate clothing. However, if you want to gear up, check out these suggestions on walking gear.
  • Do a weekend test commute to get a feel for the route and see how long it takes
  • Find a co-worker or friend who walks and join them
  • Consider tips and information on safe walking

To stay safe walking, follow these rules of the road excerpted from Wendy Bumgardner,, updated July 22, 2008.

  • Be Visible: Wear bright colors when walking in daytime. When walking at night, wear light-colored clothing and reflective clothing or a reflective vest to be visible. Drivers are often not expecting walkers to be out after dark, and you need to give them every chance to see you, even at street crossings that have crossing signals. Be just as cautious at dawn or twilight, as drivers still have limited visibility or may even have the setting or rising sun directly in their eyes.
  • Be Predictable: Make a practice of staying on one side of the path while walking rather than weaving randomly from side to side. Watch your arm motions, or you may end up giving a black eye to a silently passing walker, runner or biker.
  • Cross Safely: Mom was right: look both ways before crossing any street. Make eye contact with any drivers who may be turning. Give them a wave. Make sure they see you. In a car-walker interaction, you can only lose.
  • Walk Facing Traffic: If there is no sidewalk and you must walk on the side of the road, choose the side where you are facing oncoming traffic. This gives you the best chance to see traffic approaching closest to you and take evasive action when needed.
  • Keep the Volume Down: Don’t drown out your environment with your iPod. Keep the volume at a level where you can still hear bike bells and warnings from other walkers and runners. Your audiologist will also thank you.
  • Hang Up and Walk: Chatting on a cell phone while you walk is as dangerous as chatting while driving. You are distracted and not as aware of your environment. You are less likely to recognize traffic danger, passing joggers and bikers or tripping hazards. Potential criminals see you as a distracted easy target.
  • Stay Aware of Bikes and Runners: Share the road and path with bikes and runners. Bike riders should alert you when approaching from behind with a bike bell or a “passing on the left/right.” Listen for them, and move to walk single file, allowing them to pass safely. Runners should also call out for passing.
  • Know When to Stop Walking: Heat sickness, dehydration, heart attack or stroke can strike walkers of any age. Learn the symptoms of medical emergencies and carry a cell phone to dial 911.
  • Be Aware of Stranger Danger: Choose your walking route for paths frequented by other walkers, joggers and bikers. Acting alert and aware can convince bad guys to choose an easier target.

You don’t need fancy gear to start walking. It doesn’t hurt to have a pair of shoes, some socks, and some clothing, but really you could go for a walk without any of those items. We’ve heard walking is more comfortable if you wear a pair of shoes, but we’re not pushing anything here. We’d really appreciate it if you at least put on a pair of shorts, though! Walking is the ultimate free and easy way to get around town. If you want some “gear,” check out some of the following options: Shoes – A good pair of shoes will keep you from getting blisters or cutting your feet. A good shoe should fit comfortably; have a flexible sole, and plenty of toe room. Socks – Comfortable socks are just as important as good shoes. Coolmax socks can wick away moisture better than the standard cotton sock, but we won’t send out the sock patrol if you choose to wear regular socks. Clothing – Go for comfort. Make sure you can move your legs comfortably. Clothing made from wicking fabrics that draw sweat away from your body can make walking more comfortable. On cold weather days, layer your clothing so items can be removed as you warm up. On sunny days, add a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Water – Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. If you are going for a shorter walk, drink some water before you head out and more when you return. If you will be walking for longer than 30 minutes, take your water along. Accessories – Bags, backpacks and other carriers (waist belts, and the ever-popular fanny pack), iPod, or exercise monitors (heart rate or pedometers), strollers, folding laundry/grocery carts and little red wagons can come in handy for hauling. Though far from necessary, they can add convenience to your walk. Safety & Security – Wear reflective bands and carry a flashlight at night. Always have your identification, emergency contacts, and when possible, a cell phone.