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Reflections On Year 1 Of Cycle Commuting; Part 2

If you missed part 1 of this blog, you can view it here: PART 1

 

First. A bike. Which bike? I already had a sturdy touring/cross bike with a rack. It had been stored apart from occasional touring trips. It needed a good service and some components and a clean and lube. Check.

Next. Panniers. A good set of waterproof panniers. With reflector strips. I bought a pair of black panniers so they would be less obviously a cycle accessory if I went out after work. The truth is I don’t really care about such things. But I’m a solicitor. The legal profession can be a bit judgmental. I’m afraid I allowed that to influence my decision (although I am a big fan of black gear anyway). Check.

Next. Lights. I started working in January. I needed lights in the morning and at night. I looked at recommendations and bought a good set with usb charging. And a set of helmet lights. I’m small. I need all the help I can get to be seen. Check.

High viz? Not compulsory but I choose to wear it - sometimes.

I had a jacket already. Check.

Helmet. Not compulsory but I wear one. I had an everyday one. A downgrade when I bought my lightweight road helmet. Still perfectly serviceable and importantly not bumped or dented. That would do. Check.

Route planning? I worked out a route that would do as a starter. I have observed other cyclists heading in the same direction as me and I altered my route slightly. I have found a quieter route when football is on and the roads are clogged etc. It was a work in progress.

Parking. I park in the basement at work. I already had a bike lock. Check.

Gloves. Essential for winter riding. Check. 

Shoes. I bought some goretex trail shoes in the sale. I use them every day. Check.

Shower? There is one at work. I’ve only used it though when I have run in to work. If I cycle it’s only 3 miles. I go steadily. It can be as little as 12 minutes if it’s quiet and I hit the lights on green. I don’t plan to shower therefore if I ride. I deliberately don’t dash along on my bike commute. I save that for weekend training rides. Going more slowly makes my ride relaxed and therapeutic. Ish! (Subject to vehicles and pedestrians). 

Clothes to cycle in. Specific clothes are not necessary for a short ride. My preference is to wear cycling shorts or longs. It’s a personal thing. It’s not necessary. Check.

Lunch. I pack my lunch into my pannier. I usually use just one pannier. 

Work clothes. I pack them into my pannier.  I leave work footwear, suit jackets, a collection of scarves and my overcoat at work. I transport everything else I need daily. 

Makeup. I don’t wear a lot. But what I wear I apply before I leave home. And I don’t dash to work. So it stays in tact – enough anyway.

 

Part three will follow tomorrow.