Have you ever thought that there is more bicycles than simply ‘hammering the trails’ or ‘beasting it on the Sunday chaingang’? Have you considered using your bicycle as transport and beating that morning rush?
It is probably the wrong time of year to start commuting by bicycle to work but with a few simple tips, you’ll soon embrace the rain and wind.
Firstly, in city commuting, a bicycle can be much quicker than public transport or even driving. I used to live in Manchester and my cycle commute was 15 minutes, whilst relying on public transport, it would be anything over 30 minutes! Even though cycle commuting can be quicker, allow extra time for your journeys, you don’t want to be squeezing through tight traffic gaps or jumping red lights just to arrive to work on time. You don’t always have to undertake everything whilst in slow moving traffic, sitting patiently behind vehicles (especially large vehicles such as buses/trucks etc.) can be a sensible option and ensures that you actually arrive at your destination. Also, allowing a little bit of extra time for your journey means you have time to fix a puncture should it happen or dare I say it, pop into the coffee shop before work.
Getting your clothing right is key to making your commute more enjoyable. Always carry a waterproof jacket with you, it might be sunny at 8 AM but knowing the British weather, it will invariably rain come home time. Leg and knee warmers are also a great idea for spring and autumn, sometimes the wind direction changes and these will just keep the cold at bay.
Leaving a small towel, some baby wipes and deodorant (even dry shampoo!) at work is a blessing for both yourself and your work collages. Only stale sweat smells, so wash it off quickly and you’ll have no complaints. In work offices that require you to wear a suit, many cyclists will drive in on Mondays, leave spare clothing at work for the week ahead and collect it on the drive home on Friday.
So what are the benefits of cycling to and from work?
- Firstly, reduced petrol costs (i.e none!) and less wear on your car, but that’s the boring stuff!
- How about burning extra calories (a quick scan on the internet reveals a 30 minute commute cycling at 12pmh can burn approximately 250 calories – about one Mars bar worth – double that for the joureny home) and your fitness will certainly improve, you may even be able to give up that costly gym membership too.
Lastly, you may get wet sometimes, get blown about once or twice but every now and again, you get treated to stunning views