If the idea of commuting by bike conjures up thoughts of rain ponchos, bulky bicycle panniers, and expensive lighting systems, think again. Just follow these simple tips and you’ll be rolling to work in no time.

1. You don’t need a fancy bike. When it comes to bicycle commuting, the simpler the bike, the better, which is why many people prefer fixed gear or single gear bikes. With fewer components, you won’t have to worry as much about fixing and maintaining them, especially if you plan to ride the bike year-round.

Commuting By Bike2. A few basic bicycle accessories go a long way. There are hundreds of products marketed to commuters, but beginners really only need a few essentials. Unless you live in the desert, you should consider installing fenders on your bike. Fenders are available for all types of bikes and can even be installed on forks that don’t have fender eyelets. Also, don’t risk losing your ride by investing in a secure bike lock.

3. Always carry the necessities. Whenever you ride, you should tote tubes, a pump, a small multitool with tire levers, and a patch kit. If you find yourself racing to beat the sunset, stash a small handlebar light along with a rear blinking light in your bag.

4. Stock your office. Keep a drawer or shelf of your office full of essentials like baby wipes, a washcloth, towel, soap, deodorant, and a brush or comb.

5. Avoid a clothing conundrum. Keep an extra change of clothes, shoes, and socks at the office, too. To make the bike commute easier, try to leave heavy or bulky clothing items at the office. While some people prefer to drive to work one day to drop off their weekly clothing, others stow gear in a large messenger bag, bicycle panniers, or a simple commuter style bicycle trailer such as the Maya Cycle, designed for bicycle commuting.Bike To Work

6. Prepare the night before. It’s tough to talk yourself out of a ride when you’re already packed and ready to go. Check tire pressure, fill water bottles, and gather your clothing the night before. Also, check the weather and plan your bike route ahead of time.

7. Keep it fun. Commuting should remind you of why you love to ride a bike in the first place. If you’re stressed from trying to haul too much, only carry the bare essentials and keep a cell phone close for emergencies. If too many miles or unsafe roads separate you from work, consider driving or taking public transportation partway and then biking in.

8. Reap the rewards. Not only are you setting a great example for your fellow gas-guzzling desk jockeys, but riding your bike also saves some green and reduces your carbon footprint. To find out just how much you’ll save, plug your numbers into a bicycle commuting calculator.