One of the greatest things to come out of this year for me is my new commute to work. Since April I have been commuting into work via my bike (my mum’s bike, mine is still out of stock….). I have genuinely loved cycling to and from work everyday, and I know you would too. Not only have I ended up saving a ridiculous amount of money and seen many health benefits, feeling a lot more aerobically fit, but also it's hugely beneficial to the environment. However, I understand that reading the above alone might leave you still with a few hesitations so I’ve made my top five tips for commuting for work.
I. Plan your journey ahead. Map out your route, ask your colleagues or friends who cycle similar routes to find out the quieter, less busy roads. https://www.cyclinguk.org/journey-planner is a good website to help you plan your routes and provides advice on cycling, which you should definitely check out even if you’re a ‘serious’ cyclist. I bet there are a few short cuts even Mark Cav wouldn’t know about.
II. Do a practice run, or practice cycle, you know what I mean. I actually did two dress rehearsals before the big day. I can not stress enough how important this is and how beneficial it was to do. Obviously I followed tip number one and planned my route beforehand. But even on the second cycle I found a road that is much more quiet in Kennington which made the whole cycle much more enjoyable. This way you’ll also know roughly how long the commute will take you so you can plan your morning around how long it’ll take. This way you won’t end up being late and looking like you're 50 stages in on the Tour de France by the time you get to work.
III. Cycling shorts. Before I got my cycling shorts, I don’t know how my crotch and I survived. I used to climb on to the bike saddle in the morning and have to adjust my position slightly so I wouldn’t feel so bruised. I love me some spandex leggings and shorts so it’s a no brainer to me. You might be a bit more shy but don’t let that put you off. The shorts are designed specifically for cyclists and provide comfort, support, and full range of motion as well as reducing air resistance (oh you’re so areo).
IV. Make eye contact with bus drivers, taxis, and cars. It can be intimidating being surrounding by double decker buses, cars, and vans but be diligent and aware of what is around you. By making eye contact with drivers when at lights you’ll know know that they have seen you.
V. Enjoy it & take it easy. Since I have been cycling to work, my mood in the mornings at work has increased dramatically; I feel accomplished before 9am. It’s my time to myself to collect my thoughts and begin the day, and that goes the same commuting home from work. I am channeling my thoughts and leaving the day behind. I take my rides easy and enjoy them, no time pressures, just enjoying that liberating feeling cycling and being on my own schedule and not TFL’s. Don’t rush, enjoy it, live it, because we are lucky to have the opportunity.
I hope you have enjoyed readying my tips, they are my own humble opinion and I could write 100 more tips but where is the fun in that for you. So what are you waiting for, go figure it out for yourselves!
Also, don’t be a helmet - wear a helmet (goes without saying).