Tell me about your commute routine

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  • Tell me about your commute routine
  • Premier Icon njee20

    – I don’t carry clothes, can’t help there
    – Balance kit based on forecast, get it wrong now and again, but it’s only 30-40 minutes
    – see above re food, nothing additional required. Get up, have breakfast, ride in, lunch, ride home
    – I’m male, sorry

    Premier Icon jeffl

    I commute by bike 3 days a week 10 miles each way. I drive in on Monday, with a weeks worth of clothes. Drive in on Friday and bring the dirty clothes back. Sorted.


    Have a messenger bag and every day carry in it:
    – socks, pants, trousers, shirt, belt
    – toiletries
    – lock, tube, pump, tools
    – waterproof shorts, jacket
    – sometimes laptop

    10-20 miles each way, 5 days a week.
    Bag can be heavy but it’s comfortable.

    Premier Icon wiggles

    I ride with an alpkit gourdon (fully waterproof backpack) with my clothes in it and leave shoes at work. Either Take a lunch box or I work opposite a shop so food ins’t really an issue.

    Works fine for me, much easier now I work in a bike shop as I can take my bike in with me and can wear shorts at work rather than a suit…

    Premier Icon zippykona

    Full mudguards.

    Premier Icon richmars

    Leave shoes and trousers at work, with shower stuff.
    Winter I don’t ride if it’s wet, summer I don’t really care about rain, and anyway, here in the east is doesn’t rain that much.
    12 miles each way, about 75% of the time by bike.


    I carry clothes and it’s fine but my work’s very informal so I don’t have to worry about shirts, creases or even mild grubbiness. I just bung everything in a pannier. If you can get some drawers or a small cupboard under your desk at work it makes it much easier.

    The weather usually isn’t too much of a problem, I carry an extra windproof gilet in summer and a waterproof in winter, that’s enough to see me through most of the time. I can get a train if something epic happens, which is handy sometimes.

    I usually eat breakfast at home and then have a cinnamon roll from the bakery round the corner from work. I find that if I don’t eat anything extra I’m gnawing on my desk by lunchtime.

    Premier Icon Sandwich

    Once a week drop-off of clothes and lunches for me. As it’s a small place no one nicks my soup or rolls, chewy bars sometimes get knocked by the boss but I get some of his bananas so it’s all good. Cape in back pocket on bike for possible wet ride home in summer. Softshell jacket and windproof/waterproof tights in winter keeps the worst off.
    Hair dryer I can’t help you with.

    You should have somewhere to change and keep your stuff safe as laid out in the Welfare Regs for H&S. There is probably grant money available to your employer for installing cyclist facilities for changing and showering.

    Premier Icon ahsat

    Alpkit gourdon is a good idea.
    So breakfast, ride and then snack sounds like a plan. No way I could manage till lunch.
    I work in a University so its very laid back.

    njee20 – its OK your male 😛


    Don’t like carrying clothes so shirts and trousers get taken in for the week, then riding in with the same Camelbak MULE I use on a weekend (sans water bladder though) – also got a slightly bigger rucksack for when I’m between sites or whatever and need to carry a change of clothes and a laptop though.

    Food as usual, breakfast at home. Probably eat a bit more than I would if I wasn’t riding though.

    Weather’s just weather innit? Carry a waterproof. You may get wet. There’s a shower, so no matter.

    I don’t really do the hairdryer thing.

    Enjoy it!

    Premier Icon ahsat

    Weather’s just weather innit? Carry a waterproof. You may get wet. There’s a shower, so no matter.

    True – there is a shower at each end. Different mindset to a day out in the hills.

    Premier Icon ahsat

    We are part way through buying a house that puts me within a sensible commute to work (10 miles each way). I ride to work in the summer now but I tend to drive in and ride home and vice versa as it’s a bit far at the moment. I am hoping to change that to both ways 3 times a week. I am a bit rubbish with deciding what to wear so will probably take clothes in each day. I don’t like stuff on the bike so will probably ride with a bag and maybe leave some shoes at work. We have showers.

    So do people find carrying their clothes OK?

    How do you balance that the dear British weather can change a lot during the day?

    What do you do re food? What do you eat when? Take food into work?

    One for the ladies: do you leave some make up and a hair drier at work? I’m in a shared office so the hair drier is akward but I don’t like having a cold/wet head.

    Thanks. I really want this to work on a regular basis – for both fitness and money.


    Figure out what you can leave at work. I leave shoes and a jumper. Consider a rack if you’ve got a lot to carry. Not cool, but useful.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash

    I commute 12 miles each way 2-4 times a week depending on schedule.

    Full mudguards keep muck off me and the bike, rack and pannier rather than a rucksack as I don’t like a sweaty back.

    You judge kit by the night before’s weather forecast – I don’t mind getting wet coming home but tend not to ride in the morning in heavy rain. This time of year arm/knee warmers and a gilet in the morning, remove as required for ride home.

    I leave shoes, trousers and toiletries at the office, plus an emergency pair of pants and socks in case I forget them somehow…and it will happen! No shower, but baby wipes and deoderant have avoided complaints thus far.

    Pack your pannier the night before, layout your riding kit, then just wake up, shower, dress, coffee and any jobs required then on the bike.

    Always carry a spare tube and pump and tyre levers! And research your route. A slightly longer distance may avoid hills and/or traffic and be quicker and/or safer.

    The old routine was shoes and suit, towel and toiletries in a locker at work. Rucksack with shirt, keks, and lots of lunch each day. Fresh towel when needed, and just topped up shower gel etc from town, so that never got carried anywhere.
    There was a shower at work, and a bit of space for hanging clothes. Worst bit was putting on wet kit to go home, but I think I read somewhere that you only really get wet on 12 trips per year. Getting wet on the way home doesn’t matter. Lunch never lasted much past 10 o clock, especially in winter.

    [Edit: what they^ about tubes and pump. It pays to get a bit obsessive about picking flints out of your tyres and washing, lubing, fettling.]

    New routine is stumble down stairs, make coffee, log on.

    Am missing the miles, a bit of a tubby tustard these days…

    Premier Icon amplebrew

    I cycle around 10 miles each way every day.

    I wear a pair of cycling baggies, cycle shirt, wool socks and a cheap pair of SPD shoes.

    I carry the following in a rucksack:

    * Shirt, trousers, socks and boxers.
    * 2 x tube’s, pump, tyre levers, multitool and a headtorch.
    * Either a waterproof or fleece depending on the weather. If its dry
    I’ll wear the fleece and carry the waterproof. If its raining I’ll
    wear the waterproof and carry the fleece.

    I also have a waterproof cover for the rucksack so everything stays dry.

    I leave boots and toiletries in work and I’m fortunate enough to have proper shower facilities.

    I eat breakfast once in work as I’d rather have a bit longer in bed.

    Mudguards are a must for all year commuting, they make a huge difference.

    One of the best things I did was buy a really cheap steel Dawes bike to commute on. Cost me just over £400 and its done around 5000 miles with just bit of chain lube every couple of days.

    Year round commuting can be heard of components, so I thought a cheap bike would save my nice bikes getting wrecked.


    What mctd said particularly the last sentence. I’m getting faster but keep finding long cuts that avoid contact with motorised vehicles.
    Keep a spare everything (clothes, bike stuff, personal, money….) at work.

    Premier Icon nemesis

    Maybe more difficult for a woman but I leave suit trousers and shoes plus a towel at work and then just bring in the other things I need.

    That said, I used to bring it all in and back home using an 18 litre camelbak which was just big enough. It’s a lot nicer doing what I do now.

    Clothes in a plastic bag which has always kept everything dry even though deluges.

    For food, we have a canteen so not a major issue but I anyways take a flapjack or similar for about 30mins before riding home.


    I wear cycling clothes on the bike. Normally cheaper stuff as it gets a hammering from the constant use and washing.

    I take in clothes each day but have one emergency set in work. Just fold things up and put it in a bag, it is only a pair of trousers and a shirt.

    I shower at home and dress so I don’t get sweaty. Deoderant at work.

    Shoes – I wear safety boots and have a locker at work. Most people keep spare clothes at work, it is a lab and no one wants to go home in a tyvex boiler suit. If you ride it works well if you get caught in a downpour to have underwear and socks etc. Or for when you forget something.

    Suits, Shoes all left at work.


    Lay out kit
    Pack rucksack
    Shave/brush teeth
    Bike kit on
    Bottle filled
    Bike out of shed
    Garmin/bottle on bike
    Park bike
    Iron shirt
    Stuff out of locker
    Stuff back in locker

    Premier Icon darrell

    well my commute is somewhat different. I get dressed ready for work but pack a rucksack with what I need plus my cycling clothes. Put on cycling shoes get on bike and ride for 40 seconds to the small harbour and catch a little ferry across the fjord. Get off and cycle 600m to office. Have shoes in my office. At end of day change in to cycle gear and pack office clothes in to rucksack and cycle the 30km round the fjord back home. 50 % off road.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    I leave clothes in the office- tend to drive in at least once a week so no bother to take in several changes.


    @ darrell – nice

    Premier Icon tommytowtruck

    Full mud guards, rack and pannier. Get everything ready the night before. I take in my clothes but have shoes at work. Get up in the morning, look out of the window – if it’s dry then ride in, if it’s raining take the car! Bowl of cereal about half an hour before I set off.


    I commute either to the university (8 miles ish each way) or the hospital (12 miles ish each way). I have a messenger bag with pump, tube, multitool and clothes (top, trousers and socks usually). I ride the hybrid with my flat shoes to Uni and just wear the same shoes at work. I take the CX bike with SPDs to the hospital and keep my smart shoes in a drawer in my desk, so I never need to carry bulky shoes/boots to work.

    I find hair is the most annoying thing about being a female cycle commuter. I’m happy to commute to the Uni in any weather as, although I share an office, there is rarely actually anyone else there to see me (bloody phd students!). The hospital is a different matter – I have to confess that I don’t commute there on wet days. I got caught out once and walked around looking like a drowned rat until one of the nurses took pity and found a rubbish hairdryer on the ward. It sucked.

    However, I rarely lose commuting days to the rain. I reckon I only lose one day every fortnight or so to rain (I don’t mind riding home in the rain). If you are aiming to commute by bike 3 days a week, you can plan ahead by looking at the weather forecast (or just looking out the window when you get out of bed!).

    As for food… Well, you already know I’m an exceptionally hungry person. Commuting by bike magnifies this 100x. I have to really watch my snacking, or I start to put on significant amounts of weight. I’ve put on 2 or 3 kg since starting this job last September (was previously driving 45 miles each way). Our mutual skinny radiologist friend is currently encouraging my afternoon Costa cake and coffee habit at Uni. Despite all this eating, I sometimes still run out of energy on the way home, which makes the last climb interesting. I try to have an emergency cereal bar in my bag for these circumstances, but sometimes eat it at work… 😳

    Premier Icon tomaso

    Ride to work everyday in work clothes rain or shine. 15 year old Karrimor messenger bag with waterproof coat trousers and over shoes if it pisses down.
    I use my bike for getting about for work too and manage quite happily.
    I’m not smelly and work with two picky hobby girls – so if I did they’d say get a shower dirtbag :mrgreen:
    Food I carry in bag – but no more than normal, but I’ve always cycle commuted.
    Mudguards are great.
    Oh if you want to take a shirt in and keep it looking nice fold it up around a piece of A4 card – similar to how new shirts can come. This helps keep them flat and not crease.


    Do I need to say it as well? Mudguards. Proper ones, not clip on pseudo-guards.

    I work contracts in different places, anything from 6 months to over 2 years at a location, and commute all year round. Currently I have a very short commute, so I just ride in my work clothes. Waterproof jacket and trousers go over the top if it is raining.
    For longer commutes that involve a proper cycle, I take a set a clothes in on Monday, leave the trousers at work, and then just take shirt/socks/pants/towel each day. If you can hang up a towel to dry properly, then you can just take one in on Monday each week. Usually I can’t do this, so I just take a small microfibre towel in the pannier each day (cheapo Aldi ones). Shoes are carried in the pannier at the start of the contract, stay at work for the duration, and only come home at the end of the contract. Ditto for my bike lock, unless I need it to pop into the shops on the way home occasionally.

    Carrying clothes – shirt and trousers are just folded up and carried in my pannier.

    Food – just do whatever you normally do. If you take in sandwiches, just stick them in the pannier. You may be eating a bit more if you are not currently doing 20 miles a day.

    Weather – wear whatever you normally wear for cycling. My waterproof jacket travels in the pannier all year round, and the rest varies between shorts and jersey in summer to bib longs, thermal jacket, overshoes, Buffs and winter gloves with liners when it gets really cold in winter.

    I know you have said you don’t like stuff on the bike, but a rack and pannier beats a rucksack hands down for regular commuting. I can comfortably carry all the gear described above, and if I decide to do some shopping on the way home, I can pile a good load of stuff in an unrolled pannier. Carrying any significant amount of stuff on your back in a rucksack isn’t very nice for cycling.

    Premier Icon edhornby

    shoes coat, towel toiletries all live at work as does a small microfibre and full change of clothes for emergencies when something is forgotten

    get up, get dressed before you look out of the window 🙂 mudguards FTW and don’t get cheap tyres cos punctures are a right PITA

    monday take clothes in for the week – every day take fresh pants – every thursday switch the towel – friday take home clothes

    oh yeah, roll the clothes to avoid creasing


    Leave everything in the office – shirts (laundered once a week), suits, shoes, wash kit etc.

    Shove pair of pants & socks in jersey pocket 🙂

    If I need to carry my lap top then I stick a pannier on or use Rapha backpack (currently being fixed, I hope).

    Breakfast before I leave, 12 miles to the station, espresso from Nick, train to Victoria, cross the road to the office, shower, work, reverse.


    Pretty much what others have said:

    try and leave as much kit (inc emergency set) as you can at work, just take in socks pants/knickers and shirt
    Ride in slowly so that you don’t get too sweaty
    Give yourself ten or fifteen minutes to cool down before showering and getting changed.

    I’ll ride most days but since we don’t have a drying room at work will get the train if it’s raining in the morning as having wet cycling clothing hanging around the office isn’t pleasant. Not nice to put on later in the day either.

    Use one of the dry-bags to hold your stuff in, plastic bags aren’t very durable

    One option not mentioned is a seat post mounted bag or even a saddle bag – no need to fit panniers and you don’t get sweaty in the way that a rucksack causes.

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1

    Sorry to chime in with this, but I cannot believe how much people carry to work and plan. I put on my work
    clothes and cycle to work. If it’s raining I but in some wet weather stuff over my work clothes . If it’s really heavy rain or snow I might not ride. That’s about it.

    I think it’s one of the issues that the UK faces with regard to cycling and increasing rates of cycling.You cycle to work therefore you are a cyclist therefore you need lots of kit. I appreciate very long rides are slightly different , but it does surprise me the effort people make.


    My GF commutes 10 miles a day except when she has a long day or does nights.

    She leaves her shoes and wash kit in a locker at work and has a shower when she gets there.
    I make her lunch whilst she has breakfast, muesli in the summer and porridge in the winter.
    She takes some oatcakes, dried fruit and nuts with her for snacks.
    What she wears depends on the weather obviously, but she is wearing baggies and a s/s jersey now. She’ll take a gilet normally or if rain may occur her waterproof jacket.
    She has a camelback Hawg and carries her clothes in with her, lock is on the bike.

    Premier Icon Sandwich

    Emergency energy gel Legolam will stop you eating the reserve at work (they’re usually foul if you’re not exercising).

    Premier Icon richmars

    What every one else has said, just don’t get too hung up on the bike. Just enjoy the ride, but think about what happens if something goes wrong. Spare tubes, and be sure you can fit them when it’s snowing in the dark. Spare lights and batteries. A lock at both ends so you don’t need to carry one.

    Premier Icon sandwicheater

    +1 to above.

    My only advice is have s stash of pants/socks at work. You will forget them.


    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 🙁

    Premier Icon ahsat

    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….!

    Thanks all


    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.

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