Tuesday, 17 July 2018

What no one tells you when you start cycling to work

This my take on 11 things no one tells you about cycle commuting.  There's lots to be honest. Cycle commuting is great. Just do whats comfortable for you.
This was inspired by this pile of horse droppings

1. It's brilliant even when the weather's a bit crap

In the UK we deal with a wide variety of weather. Most of the time it's great to cycle in, and even when it isnt the feeling of beating the elements when you reach the end is uplifting. Actual weather that is bad enough to leave the bike behind isn't all that frequent.

2. Most drivers are actually ok.

Yea it's true. Some drivers are complete bellends but most do pass safely and will often wave you across crossing points, especially when they're queueing. Not a given, so keep alert and don't take anything for granted

3. Explore route options. You may find a nicer one

When you drive to work all roads look busy and intimidating to cycle on and unless you're a nutter or adrenaline junkie they are. It is often possible to find  relatively direct and quiet alternative safe routes to cycle though. You may need to be creative with the odd link though.

4. Cycling is a sociable activity

Smile and say hello to the other cyclists you pass. If you're both going the same way start chatting. Most will chat back and the miles will fly by. You'll meet some fascinating thoughtful people who you'd never meet driving.

5. Second breakfasts and lunches

Cycling to work doesn't save money. What you save on fares or fuel you'll spend on a bacon buttie or a second lunch cos you've scoffed your sandwiches by 10am

6. Cycling is me time.

Cycling to work and back is great me time. Some use it to listen to music or podcasts etc. Some enjoy the whoosh of the tyres on tarmac. Some enjoy the closeness to nature and some just to de-stress. It's your time. Enjoy it your way

7. Ebikes are not cheating

Contrary to what some say ebikes are not cheating. They open the door for a lot to cycle who otherwise couldn't. They can be a gateway drug and once you've tried electric you may not go back.

8. Sod it, it's ok to take the car sometimes

Don't feel guilty about waking up the odd  morning and deciding to use the car cos you feel tired or a bit under the weather. Frankly no one will judge or care but you, and you will later on when you come around.

9.Bells can be quite rude. Talk to people

Although the tutty old dears may complain no one uses bells, few actually like them. Shout a cheery greeting from a distance. As you pass thank them. If the have a dog say hello to it, or mention what a nice/wet day it is.

10. Strava is not evil

People put Strava down or think it's only for athletes and nobs. You may not be the greatest cyclist, but hey We're all doing it to get fitter and healthier. Strava's best feature is the segments as they break the ride into lots of mini rides. That tough ride where the legs felt heavy often ends up having some quick segment times. Just don't let it rule you and check times after the ride

11. It's addictive

Get into the habit and after a few weeks you quickly find that riding to work becomes addictive, and you miss it when you skip it.

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