Recently I made the trip further up North (I come from Cornwall so anywhere up country is referred to as "up North"...) to start a new job in London. As part of the new job I've entered the world of commuting. Commuting via the bike, to be precise.
In the past few weeks I've regularly been riding the 8/9 miles to work (and back) at least 4 days a week. Most days I'll add some extra distance in, normally in the morning, by cycling around Regent's Park. Since starting cycling I've pick up a few things along the way, that I thought I'd share...
1. Cycling in the rain is okay.
Yes it's a sometimes a bit grim when it chucks it down and you're heading to work, but you can arrive with smugness knowing you've got a few miles under you. Also, there will be dry clothes, hot showers and facilities to make a cup of tea, all waiting for you (hopefully!).
2. Cycling in jeans doesn't really work. Cycling in jeans, when it's raining? Most definitely not okay.
They have been some evening's when I can't be bothered to change into my cycling gear to head home. I learnt the hard way that rain, jeans and cycling - do not mix. At all. Cycling in jeans I can bare with. But next time it's chucking it down outside - I'll make sure I changed back into me cycling kit before I head out the office. To add to this - always make sure that you have a pair of dry cycling clothes as well. Nobody wants to that grim feeling of putting wet clothes on to cycle home with.
3. It trumps public transport.
One day a week I'm currently getting the train to work on a swim/run day. This is great for my body, but not so much on my mind. It's slightly quicker to cycle home, free and the fresh air (although not completely fresh as it is London roads...) is a nice way to start and end the working day.
4. Plan the route and hold your line.
Whilst some may disagree about cycling in the middle of the road, if the traffic is busy and cars are all in the rush - it's where I'm going to be. It may be slightly frowned upon by other cyclists but for some sections of a road it's the safest place to be, especially in London where buses are pilling in and out all over the place.
5. You will find yourself racing other commuters.
Whether it's a business man on a Boris bike, or an everyday commuter smashing it's on his Brompton - the race is always on. It's even better when you're all lined up at the traffic lights eagerly waiting for it to change. Then it's a free for all to speedily make it to the front.
What are your tips for commuting and how what would you suggest to newbie commuters?