Considerations for purchasing a commute-worthy bike are many. suggests keeping these five in mind:

Many American towns and cities encourage biking to work. Time magazine’s “9 Best” are Portland, Oregon; Washington, D.C.; San Francisco; Minneapolis; Philadelphia; Davis, California; Boulder, Colorado; Seattle and Chicago.

May is National Bike Month, and National Bike to Work Day is May 18.

Considerations for purchasing a commute-worthy bike are many. suggests keeping these five in mind:
1. Ride length. For just a few miles, most any bike will do. However, biking six miles or more requires serious comfort features. Also, know a route’s road conditions.
2. Tire size and width. Tires make all the difference in whether the ride is smooth and safe. Assess the route. If it is a straight shot on a road, skinny tires might be fine; if there will be puddles, bumps, gravel, tram tracks, etc., then wider, heavy-duty tires might be a better option.
3. Suspension quality. Test-ride different makes and models to make sure the construction and suspension quality result in a smooth and enjoyable ride — especially since it is a ride that, most likely, will be made daily.
4. Brake system. What is needed depends on route and conditions. Share as much information as possible with a knowledgeable bike shop professional so he or she can educate about adequate braking systems for various types of bikes.5. Comfort. Do some research, ask others who commute by bike, and read reviews.

Then ask a bike shop professional to choose some bikes to test-ride based on individual height, weight and body type. Preferences can range from an upright town bike with a wide, cushioned seat to traditional lean-over-the-handlebars models.

Also, consider bike weight and size and where it will be stored or parked both at home and at work. Folding bikes are popular in big cities, especially if the commute involves a bus or a train, but often comfort is sacrificed. Aluminum and carbon fiber bikes are lighter than steel, while titanium is supposed to be even lighter and have anti-corrosive properties.

Share the road
Bike safety tips from AAA:

— Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. For example, cyclists must yield to pedestrians, stop for stop signs, signal turns and travel with the flow of traffic.
— In the eyes of the law, if you are riding a bicycle on the road, you are considered a vehicle on the road.
— When you dismount and walk alongside your bicycle, you are considered a pedestrian and have the same rights as a pedestrian.

Bike safety tips for drivers, from
— Scan the road and the sides of the road ahead for potential pedestrians or bicyclists.
— Before making a turn, look in all directions for pedestrians crossing or bicyclists coming up the road.
— Look carefully behind your vehicle for approaching pedestrians, especially small children, before backing up.
— Do not block or park in crosswalks.
— Allow time for bicyclists to traverse intersections.
— Treat bicyclists like slow-moving cars: do not tailgate them, and wait until traffic conditions allow you to pass safely.
— Slow down when passing bicyclists and give them three feet of space when passing.
— Check over your shoulder after passing a bicyclist before moving back into the lane.
— Don’t blast your horn in proximity to bicyclists.
— Children and novice riders can be unpredictable; expect the unexpected.