Monday, 26 November 2012

Diary of A New Cycle Commuter - Week 1

Last month I wrote about how I had ordered myself a bike on the Evans Cycles Bike2Work scheme with the intention of commuting to work. Well, it finally arrived and after a wobbly refresher round the park last Sunday, cycle commuting began on the Monday. I got a Specialized Sirrus hybrid, which after adjusting one of the brake pads that was rubbing on the wheel, I am loving.

More articles in this series can be found here.

Monday:  On the way in, got lost trying to avoid a busy road and ended up on the busy road anyway. Lost my bell within 5 minutes of rattling along some dodgy tarmac. One close pass and one left hook.
Got a bit nervous about cycling home as it got darker, but with two front white lights and two rear red lights flashing away, I felt noticed as the majority of cars slowed down and waited for safe spaces to overtake.
Tried to avoid a big hill going up a busy road, but got lost the same way as I did in the morning and ended up on the busy road again.

Tuesday:
Little bit of light rain today, no problems as I'm waterproofed up. Found cycling home in the dark and wet conditions somehow more enjoyable than in the dry. That was until I got a puncture at the bottom of that bloody hill and decided to walk the 30 minutes home rather than try and struggle with tyre levers and a small pump at the side of the road in the rain. Realised that the dry was in fact better.

Wednesday:
Out of action whilst waiting for a proper floor pump to arrive. Got sneezed on by a man on the tube, desperately wanted to be back on the bike again.

Thursday:
Successfully avoided the busy road on both the way in and way back. Caught up with and told another cyclist off for jumping a red light. A motorist game me a thumbs up.

Friday:
Decided not to bother avoiding the busy road in the morning as it was downhill, fairly wide and I'd quite enjoy freewheeling past half a mile of cars waiting to join the A406. Did avoid it coming back on the uphill, didn't get lost, did get barked at by a dog no doubt confused with all the flashing lights and successfully completed my first weeks commute. Went out on a 20 mile tour of some of North London's parks on the Saturday as well.

Lessons learned:
Memorise the route before I set off.
Leave my work shoes at work.
Rolling clothes is better than folding.
Wearing a t-shirt, jumper and coat, the jumper was unnecessary.
Cycle commuting is brilliant and I wish I'd done it sooner.



Chris

More articles in this series can be found here.

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