The women in my office who ride (mostly about 5 miles each way I guess) tend to carry in clothes etc. in panniers and have a hair dryer for wet days or just ride in normal clothes. I ride further (16 each way) and do a combo of the above advice, don't have worry about hair these days
Tell me about your commute routine
Thanks all for the advice. Really appreciate it.
My main take home points:
Eat breakfast and then a bar when I get to work (I am a hungry person - will leave a sash of stuff in my desk draw)
Leave emergency socks and knickers, plus anything else (this is a very good point)
Have mud guards
Prepare kit the night before
Dont be afraid of rain (I'm not), but may be an idea to drive in if it is lashing it down to not piss office mates off with the smell of damp kit (dont really have anywhere to leave stuff apart from over the back of a chair)!
My hours/days in the office vary (great flexible job) so taking stuff in on Monday for the rest of the week doesn't really work for me. I am going to experiment with rucksack/pannier thing. See how I get on. For now I will ride my CX, but in the winter I prob will build my old rockhopper into a cheap commuter hack so I'm not so worried about the salt etc.
Now lets just hope the house goes through....!
I'm lucky in that I work in a very informal office but this is my routine:
- keep 2x pairs of jeans at work and shoes / sandals depending on season (plus socks if applicable), and wet wipesshower gel, shampoo and moisturiser (there, I said it)
- pack pants, T-shirt each day into bar bag, along with pass, wallet, phone, tools for puncture (I strongly recommend panniers or a bar bag - mine's Altura I think - nothing worse than sweaty back)
- change at work, shower if one's free, wet wipes if not
- key is not to carry too much stuff each day; you could probably take a week's worth of clothes in if you're more organsied than me
I have a 4 mile commute but add more miles on as and when I feel like. Only got a pair of mtbs, but run my hard tail with high roller semi-slicks. No shower but I don't feel I need it to be honest.
Sometimes I just hang around in my kit all day. If there are meetings, I have a shirt, sweater, shoes, and trousers stashed, but I often won't change these for weeks.
Use a backpack for everything, including picking up shopping on the way home and ferrying documents around.
Eat when I get in unless I'm riding for over an hour in the morning. Nip up to lidl to get stuff to make lunch once or twice a week.
Might move further from work soon so looking at getting a CX or road bike to better cover the distance.
Baby wipes - if you don't have access to a shower at work.
If you are using a CX or MTB for the commute then look for "interesting" ways home.
I do a 15 mile each way ride. Dry weather, I take the CX and go via canal towpaths, country parks and some gravel or tarmac cycle paths. When it's been wet that's not an option - the towpaths just become a gritty sludgy mess - so I use the SS road bike and just take the main road.
Routine: lay out clothes and check the bike over the night before (main thing is that the bike didn't get a slow puncture on the ride home which I only find out about at 7am as I'm leaving!). I don't wear anything too fancy - I've got two pairs of very old Sugoi shorts which are still really comfy but need either a pair of tights (winter) or some baggies (summer) over the top because they're threadbare in places. I use Rapha 3/4 shorts over the top, they're very slim fitting and don't flap around.
Merino base layer then whatever top to suit the weather.
The rucksack has a cheap shell waterproof, 2 tubes, toolkit and pump in it which live there permanently so I never forget them. At work I have a locker where I keep shoes & trousers. Towel lives in the drying room. Whenever I drive in I'll use that as an opportunity to change towel and trousers. I also keep emergency underwear there for when I forget mine! Normally I take in underwear and a T-shirt each day.
We're lucky in that we have secure indoor bike storage, showers, changing rooms, lockers, a drying room and also there's a bike shop very nearby should I break anything on the ride in.
We've got a canteen so I'll usually eat there which saves carrying food. At my previous job where there were no on-site catering facilities, I used to take in a part-cooked jacket potato (to finish off in the microwave) or cook up some pasta in the morning or sometimes stop off en route and buy sandwiches.
i've found that cycling to work is only a money-saver if it means you can ditch a car.
10miles each way = 20 miles / day = £2 or £3 in fuel (something like that)
you've got to do a lot of cycling to build up significant savings, and they're soon wiped out by a new pair of tyres, or a winter jacket, etc.
and then there's the increase in your food bill...
all in my humble opinion of course.
Up a 6am.
Leave house at 6.45ish, put bike on back of car and drive 19 miles.
7.10ish park up, get bike off car and cycle 11 miles in to Bristol city centre.
Arrive at office block 8.05ish.
Park bike, go up to office, retrieve 'normal' clothes, towel, shower gel etc.
Go back down to ground level to where showers are.
Have shower, change, go back up to office.
At desk by 8.30am with nice cup of tea.
half-an-hour for lunch if I feel like it.
Leave desk at 4.00pm to go and change back into damp lycra.
Descend to ground level, unlock bike, leave office block by 4.15ish.
Ride 11miles back to car.
5.10ish arrive back at car. Load car then drive 19miles home.
Arrive 5.45ish, unload car, shower, change, eat, chores, then relax.
Go to bed at 10pm ready to get at 6am.
Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, day off, day off, then repeat whole cycle again.
If / when I commute these days:
Everything has to me meticulously laid out in order of dressing the night before, up at 04:30, tea & toast, leave home at 05:00, arrive at work 05:50ish after 12.5miles, stretch, shower, change & tea before starting at 06:15. Ride home around 18:30. Also used to have an earlier start that meant getting up at 04:00! Really can't be arsed to get up that early anymore, especially through winter. Summer mornings do have a special charm though.
+1 to all of above. Baby wipes are a god send, just remember which one wiped what!!!. I commute 11 miles each way re: food...i take a high 5 protein bar with me and have a cup of tea soon as I get there. Keeps hunger at bay till jam sandwich time @ 10am. Cant help with hair....bald as a bald thing so I just leather it off!!!.
I don't commute any more but when I used to do about 17 miles each way 3 or four times a week.
If you're a taking lunch to work with you person make it the night before if possible as it's one less thing to do in the morning.
Buy a cheap spare track pump and leave it at work. You might not need it often but when you do it's great.
Most importantly, work out ways to make the cycle enjoyable. I bought a cross bike so I could go a slightly longer but much more pleasant route and it greatly reduced the number of rides where it felt like a bit of a chore.
I used to do 14 miles a day (7 miles in each direction) 4 x a week now moved alot closer so it's only 5 miles a day whatever the distance the best investment you can make is in waterproof clothing, it cost in the short term but your in for much more comfortable rides in the long term.
The only PIA is you need to carry it all the time due to our none predictable UK weather.
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