Commuting by bike…
By tomorrow you should have loads of little replies but I’ll start it off:
Take clothes in for week on Monday, leave heavier items like shoes, shower gel, deodorant at work.
Wash the towel you leave at work regularly swap it.
Five days at 11 miles each way will take a bit of getting used to. Build up and eat lots.
It’s the best thing I started doing. Great for fitness. Great in the summer and hard as hell in the dark cold winter.Posted 4 years ago
Get good lights. Really good ones. More than you need and carry spares, tools etc.
Once you get the commute habit it’s like a healthy version of smoking, totally addictive!
Arm warmers for chilly mornings, this time of year, not needed going home.
Slick but weighty tyres, puncture protection.
Assertive not aggressive riding.
Maybe learning a few rules of the road will be handy for when you argue with a car/van… No matter how passive you are it will still happen!
+1 for dry socks .. You don’t want trench foot!Posted 4 years agoScapegoatSubscriber
I take a bunch of clean shirts in once a week, pants come in with me on a daily basis. Shoes, trousers etc all left at work.
I vary my commute to alleviate boredom, and sometimes because I am moved to other locations at the drop of a hat. The full commute is fifteen miles each way, but I live at 1400 feet, and sometimes I can’t be arsed to ride the last six miles which are uphill all the way. Sometimes I’ll drive up to halfway, park up and ride in from the car park, or the rugby club, or a quiet side road I know.
I am about to move into an office in town, and I am currently researching google-earthing a six mile downhill majority offroad route so I can ride in an one an MTB.Posted 4 years agofozzyukSubscriber
I went with 2 of everything as occasionally I work from other sites. So at work I have a 2nd suit, 2nd shoes etc. I even have a winter coat hanging in the office for lunch time walks etc.
Its an investment as in theory the 2 sets last twice as long.
I just use a rucksack. A shirt rolled up with socks / pants etc is fine by the time I get in.
As above good lights are a must as it the ability to keep them filled with batteries / charge in winter.
It’s great for fitness though and excellent watching the seasons change.Posted 4 years agothisisnotaspoonMember
I take a big rucksack of clothes in on a monday and bring it back on friday. thrn in the week I carry nothing.
keep commuter spares separately in a bag you can pick up easily on your way out or a saddle bag, no time for faffing lookinf for stuff in the morning before work.
and take in easy, its surprising how hard riding every day is for the first few weeks.Posted 4 years agocrikeyMember
Depends hugely on what your days are like. 7-3, 8-4, 9-5 all pretty easy apart from the rush hour traffic.
Setting off at 6, getting home at 9, after a day on your feet is tougher, as are 12 hour nights.
It does clear your head, it does set you up for the day, it does make a 13 hour day into a 15 or 16 hour one…Posted 4 years agoamplebrewSubscriber
We’ve got a locker room and showers in work, so I’m really fortunate.
I cycle around 7 miles each way, so not very far really.
On my first day I carry my uniform trousers and shirt along with undies, socks, towel and shower gel.
I then just carry undies, socks and a fresh shirt for the other 5 days.
It can be a bit tricky getting out of bed at 5.30am for an early, especially when its chucking it down. It’s fine once you get out though and getting all your gear ready the day before makes a huge difference.Posted 4 years agoboxxer7Member
My commute is 20 miles a day I ride it on a road bike with 23mm tyres no panniers and a back pack with a few bits in tubes etc. I do minimum of 5 days a week but quite often 6 then it’s MTB time on Sundays!
It can be hard work I was doing 200 miles + a week by extending my rides when the weather was really nice but the evenings are drawing in now it’s tailed off. Tbh I do it for fun! I’ve got really fit doing it and its made riding the Mtb so much more fun.
I leave my clothes at work, also get to use the shower to.
Depending how fit you are 5 days a week may break you to begin with but you get used to it.Posted 4 years agoMary HingeMember
45 mile round trip here.
I have to carry everything (clothes, toiletries (we have showers) laptop etc) as I’m home based but go to the office once or twice a week. All year round, all weathers, although I do wimp out if it’s icy, but not if its just cold and miserable – they can be the best days.
Mine’s 50% on road 50% off road, so big tough tyres, full guards and panniers.
And I vary my route depending on the weather to avoid the really muddy bits if it been wet, or just for a change of scenery.
I’m addicted to it now.Posted 4 years agoIanWMember
6 miles each way 5 days Feb to Oct, hit and miss in Winter.
Relaxed dress code means I can get away with riding in Jeans and T shirt then wearing them. I have a spare shirt, socks, etc at work but don’t usually have to use them
My riding style on the commute is very steady though, non of that commuter racing for me. The goal is to get there without breaking a sweat.Posted 4 years ago2hottieMember
10 Miles each way.
Plan ahead by getting your bag ready the night before. Spend time making sure the bike is working well and invest in mudguards and buy the best lights you can.
Have a set of tools and spares for the commuter as the time you need the pump it’s in your camelbakPosted 4 years agosleeplessMember
was 18 mile cumbrian fell lanes each way, 5 days a week.
good waterproofs, gloves and over boots)
great lights (i like magic shines at the mo)
loads of food at work
spare clothes at work
clothes drying area (prepare for stench)
have a plan for if you have an accident. let other people be part of the plan. i didn’t and have been off work for 6 months after a major head injury.
first day back on it this coming Monday, just as it gets darker mornings!
Part of the reason for my crash was carrying to much weight in my bag (spare clothes and food for the week). I plan to have my supplies dropped off so I do not carry a bag in.
Planning is the key.Posted 4 years agoatlazMember
Good clothing for the weather (so if it’s hot, light and wicking, if it’s wet and cold, waterproofs, warm baselayer etc)
Essential spares (tube, pump, tool, levers etc)
Spare clothes at work (I’ve forgotten trousers before and it’s embarassing to spend the whole day in shorts with work shoes and a smart shirt)
Washing kit (I’ve not got a shower at work but use a combo of that strange dry shower gel, wet wipes and the sink)
Food for those days your body just doesn’t feel like working
I usually drop a load of stuff off every week or two in the car as there’s almost certainly one day a week I need to drive because I have a meeting or need to carry something big in the car.Posted 4 years agoBen_HSubscriber
I work a mix of at an office (14 mile round trip), travel by rail (4 mile round trip to station) and the rest at home or driving around the country.
For the office commute – I keep a pair of shoes, suit jacket and D-lock at work. I then roll-up a shirt, suit trousers, belt and tie into a rucksack. I thought I might need panniers, but a Camelbak HAWG is plenty capacity.
For the station commute – I either wear suit trousers of a set of Altura cycling trousers that look work-friendly (loads coming onto market now). I don’t wear a suit jacket due to crumple potential and usually just wear MTB shoes, but that’s usually fine as most meetings involve having suit jackets off and feet under a table! Again, the HAWG is fine for this and will happily take my laptop. I leave a massive D-lock at the station.
I use a Cotic X with workhorse spec (105, SLX, XT hubs / TN719 rims / GP 4 Season tyres, Avid BB5s) – and a pair of removable SKS mudguards when needed. I also keep a mini tool, pump, inner tube and small lights (USE Flash and Flare) in the rucksack.
I do about 1,500 miles a year this way and fit in additional local MTB rides when I work from home. As has been said above, it’s disspiriting to wake up and see it’s cold and rainy outside, but usually fine once on the move. Note to self – I must get a better pair of thick gloves for the coming winter…brrr!Posted 4 years agoPMK2060Subscriber
20 mile round trip which i do at least 4 times a week. I leave my shoes and belt at work which means i only need to carry trousers, shirt, underwear and food which i carry in a alpkit rucksack.
I usually double up on clothes and food one of the days so i can do a longer ride one day a week with no rucksack.
I use a boardman cx with 28mm gatorskin tyres which works well all year round.Posted 4 years agojonbaMember
Make your bike as reliable as possible. Puncture proof tyres, service, full cable outers, mudguards etc.
Carry as little as possible. Have dedicated commuter tools and pump so you can keep them with the bike.
Commuting through winter eats bikes for me.
If you ride through winter then have a plan in case it snows. Either a more suitable bike or an alternative. I only d 7 miles so take the MTB when it gets really bad.Posted 4 years agob rMember
Never commuted by bike but many years on a motorcycle, so same kinda practice.
Always have a Plan B. Check the weather the night before, if frosty/snow (the only thing that bothered me) then set the alarm for 30 minutes earlier so I could go in the car. I guess with a bike you’d get a lie-in.
I also had spare clothes in each of my offices (3 places across the SE) and just carried a shirt/underwear in my bag. Never carry a bag, let the bike do it.
Maintenance is key, as you don’t want a problem that turns into a pain.Posted 4 years agogrim168Member
Don’t feel guilty if you drive the odd day though when you drive past another cyclist you will. I ride 10 miles each way and perversely tend to commute more in winter. I leave at 6.30 to start a 12 hour shift at half seven. Getting stuff ready the night before is a big help and allow time to fix a puncture if need be. Spare batteries and two rear lights ’cause you won’t know if one fails.Posted 4 years agoatlazMember
If you ride through winter then have a plan in case it snows. Either a more suitable bike or an alternative. I only d 7 miles so take the MTB when it gets really bad.
I have studded tyres for the HT for snow/ice. Sadly it didn’t snow much this year so quite excited for another winter where it doesPosted 4 years agoPeyoteMember
Second the studded tyres for winter, buy a pair then you won’t have to use them for a couple of years because the winter won’t be bad!
Overshoes are great, they don’t keep your feet dry, after about 10 miles, but they do keep them warm and wet.
A spare bike (hack bike/pub bike or similar) is useful for when you need to rebuild a wheel/change a bottom bracket or similar mid week.
Extra food, lots of it, especially in Autumn and Winter. It’s scary how much energy you use cycling in cold, wet weather compared to sunny stuff.
Panniers are much more comfortable than a rucksack, but make sure that your feet don’t bash them and they don’t foul any brakes/mudguards you’ve got.
Lots of gloves, I’ve got two pairs of each so they can be washed. Fingerless, full finger Spring/Autumn ones, mild Winter ones and I’m investing in a pair of Lobster Mitts for the proper Winter time.
Also, make sure you compare how much you spend on transport with how much additional outlay you’ll be forking out for clothes/food, tyres, spares etc. I probably spend a few hundred quid a year on kit, but compared to a few thousand on a car/train it’s not a problem!
Oh yeah, I commute 52 mile round trip Mon and Tues, then about 20 miles on Thurs and Fri. Wed. I work closer to home only around ten miles.Posted 4 years agocr500domSubscriber
I recently changed jobs and we have showers at work and somewhere to store clothes, they are really pro cycling (Sponsor local cycling events etc).
Its only 5 miles for me, but I love it, normally drive 1 day with fresh shirts etc, I leave shirts, pants, socks and shoes at work, along with a towel and shower gel.
Although with the new cargo bike I expect I`ll cut out the car journey, and just take everything in panniers once a week.
I take worn shirts pants and socks home every night, take towel home every week to wash.
I leave a lock at work too.
I have been mixing it up a bit, nice road bike on nice days, singlespeed /fixie other days, frankenbike Mtb commuter (With fat slicks) and now the cargo bike has become default commuter.
I have a Commuter tailpack, with 2 tubes, levers, patches and multitool, which gets swapped between bikes, and a lezyne semi track pump mounted to the frame (Brackets on all)
Just brought waterproof overshoes in preparation, and may get some proper winter boots, not sure yet.
I have made a conscious effort to ride my bikes as much as I can now I have the opportunity to do it, the last place I worked was 30 miles each way, crap routes, and no showers so I didn’t cycle once while I was there.Posted 4 years ago
Time before that was 10 miles each way and I`d do that 4 days a week normally.
I love it
Remember, there is no such thing as bad weather, just wrong clothing ;o)samuriMember
14 miles each way here. 5 days a week unless I’m offsite for some reason. Been doing that for ooh, about 15 years now at different workplaces.
I have a suit in work just in case but rarely use it.
Mostly I just take a shirt in each day and trousers at the start of the week. Fridays is dress down day so jeans and t-shirt then.
Shoes in work.
I take spare shorts and riding shirt in every day. Partly becuase putting on sweaty clothes is pretty nasty but also, if it rains, you’ll hate it. Putting on cold, wet clothes at the end of the day will put you off for good.
I have some shoe driers under my desk for at least drying my shoes out a bit but only after they’ve had a few hours with newspaper inside them.
i always keep some danger pants and socks in work. Saved me a few times they have.
You can fold a shirt up neatly and it’ll be fine when you get to work. if not, hang it up next to the shower for a few minutes. The steam irons it.
Use mudguards if you want but if it’s really wet they’ll make no difference. Don’t bother with waterproof clothes, you’ll sweat more than the rain will wet you. Don;t bother with a waterproof bag, put everything in carrier bags.
What else? Expect a load of ridiculous questions about which charity you’re doing it for, how did you lose your license, can’t you afford a car?
Take tools and spares each way.
Work out a nice route. It may not be the most direct route but a scary, traffic-logged route will demoralise you. my direct route is about 10 miles but right now I’m doing the 13 miler in because I’m on a road bike. Once my crosser is working again I’ll be back to the 50/50 on/offroad route that I love, very little traffic.
HTHPosted 4 years agoCaptainFlashheartMember
Mudguards! Mudguards! Mudguards!
Oh, and def more than one rear light. My preference is one fixed one, usually the one on the bike, and one flashing, on my helmet. Combination of flashing and fixed works really well for visibility.
Also, don’t underestimate the power of reflective ankle bands for viz. The movement they create is so obviously a cyclist, it can really make a difference.Posted 4 years agokiloSubscriber
Race blade longs on a cheapo decathlon road bike for me with a carradice qr saddlebag and a 15 mile round trip. Shoes and emergency clothing left at work the rest fits in the carradice bag, this has been a very good purchase. I use e bay Cree lights on the front, good value and very bright. Winter boots are good if only for less faffing with overshoes. We have a drying room here so don’t tend to carry spare commuting kit. I keep tyre lever and two spare tubes in the saddle bag and the pump stays on the bike.
My one essential is having some food in the office for when I get in 🙂Posted 4 years ago
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