The Commute – Intro

by fietscyclery

As the title suggest, I will be writing about commuting to and from work on the daily grind.

I thought it would be a good idea to document stuff for those perhaps interested in doing so themselves and just give my take on it really. Things like how to prepare for shit weather, how far is too far to commute by biek and most importantly to rant and tell you my opinion on all things cycling – this is my blog after all and that’s what we create them for right?

There’ll be a series of these posts, much like my “Story of my situation” ones, as there’s waaay to much to cover in just one single post. Plus it gives you and I something to look forward to.

I’ve been commuting by biek most days for just over three years now. Started out on my heap of shit conversion (which I absolutely loved by the way!!) and was doing about 15 miles a day working two jobs, setting off to Highcliffe from Christchurch at 7am, then back and onto Bournemouth and back in the evening. This continued until I landed myself a job at an accountancy firm mid to late 2011. That’s beside the point though – for this post I’ll list general things to consider and take into account.

I wish I had something to refer to when I started and I think I learned the hard way really. Whilst at first I just thought, oh yeah lets get on my bike it’s only 4 miles down the road, how hard can it be? It was in the Spring of 2012 that it first went into full effect and to be honest I only really did it cus insuring a 20 year old car at the age of 21 wasn’t particularly easy. I really enjoyed pootering into work once the weather was on the up, plus in the evenings it was quite pleasant to take your time going along the beach in the sunset, headphones in listening to *Realise – Floating Points* (some of you wont understand – most of you actually), seeing people eating ice cream, walking dogs, etc. It was actually really relaxing and a way of de-stressing too!

I was saving a shit ton of money too, which would have usually have spent on road tax, insurance, petrol… However this was offset though against rent as I’d just moved out of the mother hub so something had to give really!

So surely you’d rather choose that over rush hour traffic, surely?

It was bliss for about two weeks to a month when we had one of those heat waves. Then, all of a sudden you realise:

1. Rain – weather is not always on your side.
2. Bike maintenance – things break
3. Smelly Kyle – I learnt that we have showers at work which turned into my very own #DisabledWetRoom™. Result!
4. As a result of 3. How am I going to pack clothes, towel, shower gel etc, lunch, gym stuff (Yes, gym stuff!!) all in one bag?
5. Rain – chafing bollocks
6. Soreness – I ached like a mother fucked every weekend. and my legs swole’d – I now have trouser problems.
7. Rain – I lost count of the amount of times my arse crack was wet – Mudguards? What is mudguards I asked my fine 21 year old self.
8. Food – I now eat alot. Which isnt bad at all, but it costs me more to fuel myself lol. I actually use this as an excuse to eat what I want. Another Result AIMIRITE?!
9. Rush hour – whilst it’s great sweeping past traffic in the morning, some drivers, and cyclists, are just dangerous. I’ve crashed 3 times so far, lol some funny stories to tell you…
10. Rain – Waterproof coat, waterproof gloves, waterproof overshoes? Which as I’m writing this I still don’t have – the overshoes that is!
11. Did I mention rain? Dont even get me started on the winter months FFS. Lights, Merino wool, bib shorts, Helmet, Warm gloves – but don’t let these things fool you – cus your body warms up after ten or so minutes and if you overdress, guess what happens then?
12 – MTB, Road biek, Fixie, Hybrid (lol) – What bike is best?

See what I mean? I cant fucking cover all those things in one post.

Lucky for you then I’ll cover a topic a month, or I hope so anyway.

What shall it be first?

Just know that it’s all good. I decided to take the plunge of cycling to work, and still do for various reasons.

Hopefully it will help you decide 🙂

Kyle