Cycle commuting, riding to work

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Cycle commuting, riding to work

Postby baldy » Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:46 am

Other than the classical "forgot my pants, having meetings in my lycra" thread -> viewtopic.php?f=18&t=21812

Does anyone else ride to work? I am about to start and could do with tips and advice.
Work is about 8 miles away, choice of country lanes or bridle paths.
Bleak dark and cold UK winter weather so going to need a decent light and other gadgets. I could wait till summer to start, but if I wait then the right time will never come.
We have a shower and cupboard at work, but I have not really worked out what would be the correct towel etiquette?
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Re: Cycle commuting, riding to work

Postby VeganGraham » Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:07 pm

Get everything ready the night before.
Sandwiches made and packed, kit laid out etc., then in the morning you can just get up, eat breakfast and go.

I keep spare clothes at work to avoid having to carry them on a bike.
There's no dress code for mechanics, anything goes under the overalls.
On the days when I drive in I take a selection of clean shirts and socks and take home the dirty ones. One of the advantages of working in a proper workshop, one that Alexie Sayle would approve of, is that no one minds a gradually accumulating pile of dirty washing in one of the drawers of my toolbox.
Spare cycling kit at work is useful too. If you get soaked on the way in, it's nice to have some dry kit to wear home.
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Re: Cycle commuting, riding to work

Postby GY Jon » Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:20 pm

Until the last 2 months (when it's become my duty to take baby to creche via car - she's too small for a bike seat yet). I cycled the 11 mile round trip to work 95% of the time and all weathers (30 degrees to -15) for 4 years. Mudguards and good panniers are great as is a fast&no fuss route (I usually ride for half the distance on a trunk road) and as BGW says sets of spare clothes at work helps enormously. 8 miles is just enough distance to work up a sweat in the summer so your shower is a major bonus, 8 miles is also just enough distance to have a good warm up&down and a few long intervals, so your fitnessmight improve (it looks like your strength is OK!).

Good luck!
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Re: Cycle commuting, riding to work

Postby crapiecorn » Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:41 pm

Maybe some bike related tips :

- Invest in some good puncture protection tyres.
- Carry a spare tube, pump and maybe a patch kit (ps learn to change a tyre under time pressure ;-) )
- Get shoe covers ( grrr wet shoes )
- Good gloves for winter time ( grrr cold)
- Maybe some rain gear
- A dry bag
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Re: Cycle commuting, riding to work

Postby Mr. Cleetus » Wed Dec 25, 2013 8:47 pm

* A decent water proof and comfy pack or panniers are really useful.
* some way to dry shoes, jacket, etc. There is nothing worse than putting cold and wet stuff on in the evening. I often bring a second it if it is really wet
* As Crapiecorn says, bullet proof tires are heavily recommended, even if they make you feel like you are riding on pizza
* Towel only through the office for sure
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Re: Cycle commuting, riding to work

Postby baldy » Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:32 pm

Solid advice, spare clothes in the office is no problem will drive in once a week to drop off fresh and take home the laundry.
Going to need a few towels I would imagine. With no where to dry them other than inside a cupboard.

Only thing I really need to take into work is my lunch, so no need for panniers.
Damn couriers have lost my bike though! So will be a few more weeks before I can really start.
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Re: Cycle commuting, riding to work

Postby bob_summers » Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:06 pm

Good advice above, especially mudguards - if there's one thing worse than getting wet feet, it's getting wet feet when it isn't even raining! And leave enough time on the way in to ride slowly for the last mile or so you dry off a bit, might save putting damp clothes on for the return leg.

Shoes - no smart clothes required for me, but I'm not going to teach a class of teenagers in white disco slippers. I bought a pair of trainer-style SPD shoes which I can wear all day, they are ugly as sin but with a 17" laptop and a load of textbooks on the bike already, not having to carry shoes is great. (you could keep a pair at work of course, but I'm based in a few different places).

I use camping pack towels, might be worth a try.
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Re: Cycle commuting, riding to work

Postby baldy » Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:40 pm

[quote="bob_summers"]Good advice above, especially mudguards....

Shoes - no smart clothes required for me, but I'm not going to teach a class of teenagers in white disco slippers. ....

I use camping pack towels, might be worth a try.

I am kind of looking forward to arriving at work covered in mud, planned route is about 80% off road, novelty will probably wear off soon enough.

Surely on the shoes, you can just leave a work pair at work? That is my cunning plan.

Top tip on the towels, will try them out.
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