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Making the cycle commute the 'default' option

sarajoysarajoy Posts: 1,675
edited April 2009 in Commuting chat
Finally!

I've been so busy with life's little crapitudes since I got the new bike (early February) that I've really not ridden as much as I'd liked to have. Maybe averaging once or twice a week, sometimes 3 times when logistics have gone my way.

However, this week I've decided to plunge into 4 days of riding in and home. Before this I was almost scared of doing two days in a row, in case I should get 'too tired'. But I feel fine now and hopefully the ride home will be fine albeit maybe a little tiring, ready for my day of rest tomorrow :)

I'm hoping I find myself in a nice routine of getting up, riding, showering at work, etc, changing the weekly work-clothes/towel on a Weds, rather than the slightly confused bustle about at home in the morning while I decide whether to ride or drive... I guess that comes..?
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  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 10,052
    I find getting everything prepped the night before is the best thing. This way you just grab everything and go.

    Also, as i now shower at work each day I don't need to shower at home and that saves a faff.

    So get up, get breakfast, get out.
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • Greg TGreg T Posts: 3,266
    The big thing we need to discuss is your fringe has switched sides from left to right and you have dispelled the gossip that it was hiding a gaping wound or some other deformity......

    on topic...

    Once you get your logistics and routine sorted it's easier - I find it better to get in the groove and everything is to hand and you don't spend ten mins trying not to walk around teh house in your cleats trying to find your gloves
    Fixed gear for wet weather / hairy roadie for posing in the sun.

    What would Thora Hurd do?
  • My secret here is this: I have two sets of keys - the office key is on the same keyring as the bike lock, but the car key is on a different keyring. Both have housekeys.

    Consequently, if I want to drive to work, I have to take two sets of keys with me, whereas if I take the bike, it's just the one set.

    Believe it or not, I find that this strategy works for me - if nothing else, the fact that you have to actively go and pick up a second set of keys really makes you reflect on whether it really is absolutely necessary to drive.[/i]
    2008 carrera vanquish - FCN: 8
    2009 giant bowery 72 - FCN: 5
  • sarajoysarajoy Posts: 1,675
    Well noticed, GT! The last picture was taken in a mirror and I forgot to flip it - the current one is correct :)

    The car has been the default for so long that actually it feels kind of liberating not to shower - get dressed, get a banana down me, and go...
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  • sarajoysarajoy Posts: 1,675
    vanquished wrote:
    My secret here is this: I have two sets of keys
    Hah! Funny thing is I already do that :)

    Not quite the same - but the bike lock key is with the house keys, the car keys are completely separate. It is nice indeed just to pick up the one set! Not that I use the bike lock at work (secure shed thing, saves me carting it about), but still.
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  • Since I moved from being an erratic commuter (in terms of number of days rather than behaviour on the road :) ) to a 5-days-a-week kind of guy, things have got easier.

    There's no planning now - it's just automatic. As automatic as most people jump in the car or walk to the train station. No logistics to worry about - no thinking about what clothes to wear, getting the bike out, or swapping keys, phones, etc from one bag to another.

    I keep a stash of work clothes in the office and keep it topped up by using a rucksack once or twice a week (other days I just use an oversized seat pack). Despite my previous misgivings, I'm getting seriously tempted by a messenger style bag as it will fit my shirt folding thing much better than my rucksack does, but that's about the only change I'd make now.

    Now, the thought of getting the train just seems like too much hassle. It's easier to take the default option of the bike.

    Mind you, for reasons which are too convoluted to bore you with, I've ended up with no belt in the office these last couple of days. And my waist seems to be a couple of inches smaller than it used to be (presumably due to the cycling because my cake consumption is still sky high :roll: ). My trousers are so low my colleagues are starting to call me homie. I definitely need to bring my belt back to the office tomorrow! I could even use it to fend off the crusties as they attack. :lol:
    Never be tempted to race against a Barclays Cycle Hire bike. If you do, there are only two outcomes. Of these, by far the better is that you now have the scalp of a Boris Bike.
  • Greg TGreg T Posts: 3,266
    vanquished wrote:
    My secret here is this: I have two sets of keys - the office key is on the same keyring as the bike lock, but the car key is on a different keyring. Both have housekeys.

    I do this too.

    I have set of bike keys that are on a retracting key ring thing attached to the inside of my rucksack.

    I just leave them on it.

    Anything you can do to minimise the running around in the morning is a good thing
    Fixed gear for wet weather / hairy roadie for posing in the sun.

    What would Thora Hurd do?
  • chuckcorkchuckcork Posts: 1,471
    Last job most of my keys were bike keys for all the locks I'd left around t save carrying them to and fro....
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • Rich158Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    I attach my keys to the little key thob thingy inside my bike bag, that way I'm dealt a constant reminder to get on the bike rather than take the car.

    Getting my stuff ready the night before always helps, if I go to bed with the intention of riding in the next day I find I'm more likely to crawl out of bed the morning and ride in. If I know I've got to root arround looking for my kit without waking the other half, I can't be arsed and stay in bed, it's not worth the hassle.
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

    Revised FCN - 2
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    I drive so infrequently that I'd never think of having my car key on the same fob as my house key. My bike lock key and house key share a fob, however.

    I'm also trying to get (back) into this mindset. Now that weather is less of an issue, it really only comes down to going-out logistics, and as I park in a relatively safe underground garage at work I know I can leave the bike overnight when necessary. That said, I doubt I'll be doing many 5-day weeks of riding - maybe if I was happier to leave the Focus unattended outside a pub or whatever it would be different. But 3-4 days a week (plus weekend fun rides) will do me.
  • c12345c12345 Posts: 99
    I've just ridden the crest of fair weather, followed now by light evenings to become 2 Wheel default.

    It hurt for about a month, but I've turned the corner now. Top tips are Sudocrem before and after, and realising that you're not going to best Monday's time on a Friday evening.

    +1 for everything ready to leave the next day. The worst part is second guessing the weather, so I have a change of cycle clothes at work too in case it turns wet/cold during the day.
  • biondino wrote:
    I drive so infrequently that I'd never think of having my car key on the same fob as my house key. My bike lock key and house key share a fob, however.

    I'm also trying to get (back) into this mindset. Now that weather is less of an issue, it really only comes down to going-out logistics, and as I park in a relatively safe underground garage at work I know I can leave the bike overnight when necessary. That said, I doubt I'll be doing many 5-day weeks of riding - maybe if I was happier to leave the Focus unattended outside a pub or whatever it would be different. But 3-4 days a week (plus weekend fun rides) will do me.

    Have kids! That stops you having to worry about the logistics of going out after work. :roll: Worked for me, anyway.
    Never be tempted to race against a Barclays Cycle Hire bike. If you do, there are only two outcomes. Of these, by far the better is that you now have the scalp of a Boris Bike.
  • Rich158Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    biondino wrote:
    I drive so infrequently that I'd never think of having my car key on the same fob as my house key. My bike lock key and house key share a fob, however.

    I'm also trying to get (back) into this mindset. Now that weather is less of an issue, it really only comes down to going-out logistics, and as I park in a relatively safe underground garage at work I know I can leave the bike overnight when necessary. That said, I doubt I'll be doing many 5-day weeks of riding - maybe if I was happier to leave the Focus unattended outside a pub or whatever it would be different. But 3-4 days a week (plus weekend fun rides) will do me.

    Have kids! That stops you having to worry about the logistics of going out after work. :roll: Worked for me, anyway.

    But they also vastly reduce your available resources for bike related spending :twisted:
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

    Revised FCN - 2
  • Rich158 wrote:
    biondino wrote:
    I drive so infrequently that I'd never think of having my car key on the same fob as my house key. My bike lock key and house key share a fob, however.

    I'm also trying to get (back) into this mindset. Now that weather is less of an issue, it really only comes down to going-out logistics, and as I park in a relatively safe underground garage at work I know I can leave the bike overnight when necessary. That said, I doubt I'll be doing many 5-day weeks of riding - maybe if I was happier to leave the Focus unattended outside a pub or whatever it would be different. But 3-4 days a week (plus weekend fun rides) will do me.

    Have kids! That stops you having to worry about the logistics of going out after work. :roll: Worked for me, anyway.

    But they also vastly reduce your available resources for bike related spending :twisted:

    I didn't say kids were the perfect option. Mine certainly aren't! :lol:
    Never be tempted to race against a Barclays Cycle Hire bike. If you do, there are only two outcomes. Of these, by far the better is that you now have the scalp of a Boris Bike.
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,146
    I hate not commuting by bike, the very thought of taking the tube/bus is enough to make me feel ill! I only ever use public transport if I have to be at a meeting early and cannot get into the office first, otherwise come rain or shine I'll be on the bike. You'll find a routine quickly enough. Mine runs like clockwork these days and I shower and breakfast at work. To be fair, it's not hard for me, put on cycle kit, put work clothes and lunch in bag, put bag on back, get on bike, go. Piece of pi$$.

    PT involves: Get up, shower, breakfast, check tubes bus are working, get to station find tube/bus is closed/delayed/rammed. Squeeze on tube,/bus get armpit in face, endure some fat bar$tards eau du fart. Get hot, cross, delayed again. Arrive at work in need of another shower and in a foul mood.

    Yep, bike please.
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
    Crown Stables
  • I do have a compromise with myself, sometimes on a monday I need to get my work gear into the office and I'm tired and CNBA so will take the car, but will also sling the bike in the back. Its always easier to cycle homeward leg then workbound one, so I end up leaving the car near work while back end of the week.
    I'm also lucky that my cycling mate, lives in the same village as me, and works 18 miles away in the same town, so there is no backing out of it in the mornings!
  • Jay dubbleUJay dubbleU Posts: 3,197
    I never drive to work - the way I got round it was by not renewing my car pass which means that if I take the car into work I have to pay for parking - it was quite hard the first month but now I'm used to it and I much prefer it to the car - Oh yes and its quicker as well 8)
  • Tony McTony Mc Posts: 180
    I commute 5 days a week where ever possible hard at first but been at it for 2 years now. I hate taking the car into work cause of the traffic Juts a case of getting up and going with me and feel ready for the day after a shower at work

    The Newcastle council are about to introduce new parking restriction around the office so whilst it used to be free to park its now going to be a pass or metere my car reliant work collegues are worried sick how will they cope ... Me I'm not fussed hopefully may make them introduce the Cycle 2 work scheme
    Getting there
  • PinkPedalPinkPedal Posts: 180
    Saving for my holiday was a big factor in getting me into the swing of commuting every day. Bike = free (well, sort of!). Then I just got into the routine. My legs were really tired the first couple of Fridays though and my commute is quite short.

    I pack my work clothes and get bike stuff ready the night before and also keep a few spare clothes etc in my locker just in case i forget anything. The only pain is when I have lots of heavy uni books to carry.

    Plus of course this:
    PT involves: Get up, shower, breakfast, check tubes bus are working, get to station find tube/bus is closed/delayed/rammed. Squeeze on tube,/bus get armpit in face, endure some fat bar$tards eau du fart. Get hot, cross, delayed again. Arrive at work in need of another shower and in a foul mood.

    After a couple of weeks on the tube (not allowed on bike) I got the worst cold I've had for years, properly off work, unable to get out of bed sick. I blame all the germs on the tube, give me the cycle commute and all its craziness any day.
  • soy_saucesoy_sauce Posts: 987
    by not having a car and never carry any changes (coins) with me or at the flat, force me to either cycle or walk to work. and since my working hours are flexible, it make more sense for me to commuting to/from work everyday so i can be home early and have time to play the PS3 before my missus back home from work. 8)

    also have that as an excuse to eat as much as i want to since "i will lose all that, because i cycle everyday** " :lol:



    **never work... :cry:
    "It is not impossible, its just improbable"

    Specialized Rockhopper Pro Disc 08
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    I have been commuting exclusively by bike for over a year now, unless I have to travel, and the routine is really just automatic. Get up, brush teeth, pick out work clothes, place in pannier bag, put on cycle clothes, leave, shower and change at work.

    It's easy - you'll get used to it!
  • salsajakesalsajake Posts: 702
    As another incentive, work out how much your non-cycle commute costs you. Mine is part car, part train, so I add the cost together (you should be able to get a cost per mile for most cars off the internet).

    Each time you commute in, keep a total of the money you have saved and that becomes your bike fund. The more you ride, the more you can upgrade and the more you will want to ride!

    Works for me because my wife can't argue with money that I would have spent commuting going on the bike, which is pretty good considering my commute has already paid for a brand new Kona Jake, goodrich cable upgrades, 2 bib tights, 2 cycling tops, a £150 light set, helmet light, 2 rear lights, a new front tyre, pannier rack, pannier bag, high viz vest, berghaus paclite waterproof jacket etc etc

    Just wish I could get back on it but 2 weeks after getting a viral infection and just recovering I got another and spent most of monday on the loo. Will give it a week and then start to build up again gradually I think
  • sarajoysarajoy Posts: 1,675
    Ouch salsajake, get well soon!

    Aye, roughly the car-commute costs me £2.50 a day. So if I cycle four times a week, that's a tenner saved. Brilliant :D
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  • salsajakesalsajake Posts: 702
    sarajoy wrote:
    Ouch salsajake, get well soon!

    Aye, roughly the car-commute costs me £2.50 a day. So if I cycle four times a week, that's a tenner saved. Brilliant :D

    thank you! Lost a stone and a half in 2 days - but that is not a good thing as I now weigh 10 stone and keep staggering into things - I can hardly walk straight so unlikely to be able to ride up a hill at the moment.

    Does your £2.50 include petrol, tyres, parts and servicing? Last 3 are easily overlooked but the fact is that if you don't drive x miles 4 days a week, then you won't have to replace oil/tyres and book that service quite so often, so it is a longer term 'hidden' saving. You could include depreciation too, but that is too censored and at the end of the day the car is losing value sat on your driveway, so ignore it.

    35mpg (very good going in town) is 11.6p a mile based on 91p a litre, which it went up to yesterday (might be more where you are). Tyres cost me 450 quid every 15k miles, so that is 3p a mile. Say £400 average service and parts every 9000 miles or so is about 4.4p a mile, £400 exhaust every 20k miles is 2p a mile and £300 on brakes every 15k miles is another 2p a mile. Add a splash of oil and you are cooking at about 24p a mile. You can adjust figures based on your expenditure, but you might find you are saving more than a tenner, which will soon mount up to some tasty bike parts.

    My 'default' cost including train is £6.02 at the moment, so £30 a week, £130 a month is not to be sniffed at (not that I have ever managed it every day for a month, yet...)
  • sarajoysarajoy Posts: 1,675
    The £2.50 is based on about 10p per mile petrol, plus a little extra (the driving distance is 22 miles round trip as I drive out of town and back in again to avoid snarl-ups). I don't want to overplay the saving it as I'll end up spending even more all round! :D

    I don't get great MPG on the driving commute as it is either stop-start traffic or motorway.

    Wish I could lose a stone and a half - ideally of fat rather than muscle and fluids mind you - erk - hope it turns a corner for you soon, must be exhausting.
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  • NGaleNGale Posts: 1,866
    I have to admit I still havent brought myself to do the early morning commute. when I am on my 7am to 5pm shifts I would have to be out of the house by 5:30am at the latest in order to get in on time (certinally at the moment with starting out) so cycling isn't yet a default option for me at the moment.

    However on my late shifts (which start monday) I usually do cycle and enjoy it, nothing like cycling to work in the middle of the day and burn off some energy before 10 hours on the phones dealing with 999 calls. Even cycling at midnight, one or two am is nice, the roads are quite, you can build up a head of steam on the road and really ride. The only people you have to worry about are the taxi drivers!

    I am hoping to brave the early morning ride on Sunday as I don't have to bother with uniform at weekends so I won't need the rucksack for my cycle kit. Just a case of hauling myself out of bed!
    Officers don't run, it's undignified and panics the men
  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    My wife is the only car owner/user in the house......hence I have no other transport :-( Even have to cycle to my in-laws on Saturday - nice 70 mile run from Brizzle to Newbury.
  • salsajakesalsajake Posts: 702
    gtvlusso wrote:
    My wife is the only car owner/user in the house......

    yet you name yourself after one?
  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    salsajake wrote:
    gtvlusso wrote:
    My wife is the only car owner/user in the house......

    yet you name yourself after one?

    I can sit in a darkened room, with my memories of lost youth, no mortgage, kids or dogs.......and disposable income for the "finer" things in life.
  • GarouGarou Posts: 33
    salsajake wrote:
    As another incentive, work out how much your non-cycle commute costs you. Mine is part car, part train, so I add the cost together (you should be able to get a cost per mile for most cars off the internet).

    Each time you commute in, keep a total of the money you have saved and that becomes your bike fund. The more you ride, the more you can upgrade and the more you will want to ride!

    Works for me because my wife can't argue with money that I would have spent commuting going on the bike, which is pretty good considering my commute has already paid for a brand new Kona Jake, goodrich cable upgrades, 2 bib tights, 2 cycling tops, a £150 light set, helmet light, 2 rear lights, a new front tyre, pannier rack, pannier bag, high viz vest, berghaus paclite waterproof jacket etc etc

    Just wish I could get back on it but 2 weeks after getting a viral infection and just recovering I got another and spent most of monday on the loo. Will give it a week and then start to build up again gradually I think

    +1

    I just did this recently, and was pretty amazed. If i cycle both ways i save about £10 per day on my commute - that seriously adds up. I don't cycle both ways every day, but the morning is when the train tickets are more expensive, so i've pretty much made the morning ride the default option.

    I found the hardest part was just psycologically getting myself on the bike early in the morning with a long ride ahead; once i'm actually going it's fine. It's much easier now the clocks have changed though.
    'I'm not in the business; I am the business.'
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