Confession Of A Cycle Commuter – My 10 Surprising Takeaways

 

Ready, Steady, Cycle to Work!

Ready, Steady, Cycle to Work!

I’m a morning person and love waking up early, full stop!  I think this BuzzFeed article about signs that you’re a morning person sums it up pretty well. But what I love even more is running early before work. I’ve been a morning runner for quite a while until I got injured. Well, I basically did a typical pre-school running mistake and I over -trained. I think that over 100K on a weekly basis with no days-off for over 60 days is really not a good idea. But hey, I learned my lesson here.

However, my injury meant that 5 weeks prior to my first Ultra marathon I couldn’t run even  100 bloody-metres. The only sport that kept me going was cycling so I swapped my morning runs for 8 mile ride to work and back every day. Although I had to stay in the saddle and use easy gear I loved it and after my Ultra marathon I continued to cycle-commute to work.

It’s been now over 5 months since my first ride to work and I do still enjoy plus my other 2 colleagues decided to cycle too and we even came out with a name for our little cycle-to-work club @SEO_Riders . Overall, it’s been a great move but there are certain things I’ve realised when it comes to commuting to work on your bike. Here are my 10 surprising takeaways;

 

10 Surprising Takeaways  from Cycling to Work

 

cycle to work all the way

 

1. You will need a supply of underwear, I mean a lot

On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays I train twice a day – cycle to and from work and running training and swimming on Wednesdays. This means lot of showers so stuck up on some comfy panties.

2. You won’t have any problems with choosing what to wear to work

You will only need your cycling gown and one ‘uniform’ for work. On Mondays I always bring with me one simple dress and black tights and underwear. That’s it – dress is the best – comfy with no hassles.

3. Cycling shoes, Flip-flops and black pumps are the only shoes you will ever need, like ever!

Cycling shoes for when on bike, flip flops for shower and pumps for your work, simples!

Cycle commuter essentials - shoes

3 Pairs of shoes – that’s all what a proper cycle commuter needs

 

My Other commuter essentials

  • Mascara and BB cream
  • Dry Shampoo!
  • Some hair brush
  • Deodorant or perfume
  • Shower gel

 

4. Air pump will be your BFF! No joking!

A dog air pump is a cycle commuter’s best friend! I successfully manage to have 3 flat tyres in a week so I do know what it means to pump your tyres every 200 metres as it’s still faster than walking. Again, I got my lovely Zefal (pictured below) from Decathlon for £14.99 :)

Air Pump - Cycle Commuter's Best Friend

Air Pump – Cycle Commuter’s Best Friend

5. You will be #1 enemy for all car drivers!

They will hate you and I’m not joking! But the good thing is that you will hate them even more, especially when they drive so close to you that you’re surprised you can still breath.

Hi Vis clothes are really essential here! You need make yourself visible not vulnerable by not wearing reflective clothes.

Here’re a couple of ideas what you should get and wear

You can easily get all of these at any of good cycling shops such as Decathlon, Wiggle or  at Proviz which I think has got the biggest range of high vis clothes and accessories.

  • Reflective vest
  • Reflective strips for your knees and ankles
  • Other accessories such as belt
  • HighVis Ruksacks or covers

 

6. It’s is OK to cycle closer to the middle of the road

This is a no-brainer, holes and road bumps are not your tyres’ friends, especially if you go downhill. Speaking from my own experience here, I ran over rather a big hole and my tyre didn’t like it at all! I think this was flat tyre number 2 of that lucky week  I had.

Cycling to work - air pump is your best friend

Another day, another flat tyre!

7. Bike Lights, lights and lights!

You must simply buy front and back lights, don’t even think of cycling without them, even during the day. Otherwise you’ll be eaten alive by all car drivers. I got mine from Decathlon for £9.99, bargain! (now £7.99!) 

Commuting Takeaways - Torch Light Set For Cycling To Work

But please note that these are designed to alert cars and others to your presence and they won’t certainly allow you to see where you’re going. In this case, I would suggest buying headlights.

8. Pathways are not for cyclists!

Yes, this is true although all drives think the opposite. Simple explanation: Road Bike means a bike for roads! There is no such thing as pathway bike, right!?

9. You need to be extremely cautious!

As a runner I do think a lot about many things from work, my next blog post to my dinner. Running is sometimes my perfect  1-1 brainstorming session but you can’t brainstorm when you cycle. You need to be 200% focused on the road and cars/people around you.  

Cycle to work - think bike

10. Every day will be a good day, trust me!

Exercising in the morning comes with perks such as a good mood. This might sound crazy but I absolutely love the feeling when you look at your colleagues who just arrived on Monday morning and you know that you’ve already exercised, had a shower and breakfast. And it’s only 8am!  Priceless!

You will get to see these amazing morning views...

You will get to see these amazing morning views…

 What about you, do you cycle or run to work?

Lenka Istvanova

2 Comments

  1. I love cycling to work! I live 21 kms away from my workplace, so it is a good (almost) everyday workout for me. Sometimes I change my bike to a pair of running shoes and run a half marathon on my way home :)

    • That’s awesome! Lucky you, I wish I didn’t have to take my work laptop (17 inch + heavy) everyday with me – there seem to be no running backpacks that would handle my PC without chafing.

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