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Commuting Tomorrow For The First Time

andrewheyandrewhey Posts: 7
edited January 2013 in Commuting general
So tomorrow is the day!

Its only about 6 miles one way via rural roads but has anyone got any hints or tips? Other than leaving work shoes / lock / tube at work.

I've started a twitter account if anyone wants to follow my progress.. I'm planning on cycling into work everyday in 2013 :)


  • Don't let the weather put you off, oddly enough sometimes the colder and wetter rides are the more enjoyable, just dress accordingly. Leave a rag at work too so you can wipe the bike down if it gets wet, I'd recommend using mudguards all year round, saves faffing around taking them off in summer only to find out it's p!ssing it down the following morning.

    If you can have breakfast at work, don't have a bowl of cereal at home beforehand, all that milk and stuff being chucked around your stomach straight after you've eaten it doesn't feel good.

    Good luck!
  • Thanks! The rag and breakfast are awesome tips. I'm lucky as I can also get a shower at work. Mud guards already fitted :)
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,164
    Keep some spares in your desk drawer:
    underpants, socks, inner tube, spare emergency lamps or batteries.
    I find pre ride breakfast OK, esp for a 6 mile rider.
    You can ride fast and spend time cooling down or you can ride steady and come off the bike into the building. It takes the same time either way.
  • Thanks Michael. Turns out my front and rear lights have different size batteries - grrr
    I've got a spare tube, patches, pump. I'll take some change of clothing.

    Has anyone used a microfiber towel before?
  • yep used one of those towels, however as nowhere to hang it at work found it easier to just pack a normal one in my backpack and sort it out when home.

    If you do have somewhere to hang it out then would recommend it as I have since taken my camping and works as you would want and dries out pretty fast.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • Cool cheers Dan. I think I can use a radiator near my desk.
  • pete_spete_s Posts: 213
    Put your work clothes in a plastic carrier bag and then spin it around whilst holding the top to make it waterproof. Your bag may be made from high-tec Gore space material which makes it impervious to water from external sources, but when your lunch box leaks or your teabreak banana gets squashed it wont mean squat.
  • Carry spare inner tubes, tyre levers, pump and a multi tool with you at all times.
    Don't bother with a puncture repair kit - take the old inner tube home and fix them at your leisure.
    (I find that I only get punctures when it's p*ss*ng down. That's not the best time to be fixing a punture.)

    And make sure your bike is properly maintained too.
    All of that riding will slowly take it's toll on gearsets, brakes etc.

    Might be worth investing in a maintenance course, or spend a few hours going through the Park Tools website so that you can sort yourself out when your bike lets you down.
    2007 Felt Q720 (the ratbike)
    2012 Cube Ltd SL (the hardtail XC 26er)
    2014 Lapierre Zesty TR 329 (the full-sus 29er)
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,164
    The extra spare inner tube in your desk is your carry spare for the journey back home.
    A few self adhesive patches are useful for those times when you get 2 punctures , mainly due to leaving that flint or glass in your tyre.
    A tyre boot is for real emergencies when your tyre splits. Any tough fabric will work but parktools do a self adhesive one. Its rare to need them but they are a good insurance policy.
    Some people carry a length of ductape rolled around their pump and a few zipties. This is for advanced bodging.
  • My best tip is a couple of pairs of latex gloves in your bag so if you do have to change a tyre or chain comes off your hands/bike gloves are not full of oil. Good luck and enjoy.
  • Thanks for all the tips!

    Made it to work on Monday and back with out issue. Was fun cycling home ( rural roads, almost farm tracks) without street lights. Bit spooky past some woods when a pheasant flew out!! :shock:

    Didn't really take into consideration time to get washed and changed once you get to work, but you live and learn.

    Thanks again, looking forward to it again in the morning. Bit more organized this time
  • Mikey41Mikey41 Posts: 690
    Pheasants are the stupidest birds in all of creation. I've nearly been hit in the face by them about 4 times now :lol:

    And yes, allow good time to cool down, wash and change when you get there, my commute takes 20mins but I allow 45mins. This should also cover any unexpected stops for punctures etc. I leave a full uniform at work so I'm not hauling it in every time, that way I just carry my lunch in a small backpack. :)
    Giant Defy 2 (2012)
    Giant Defy Advanced 2 (2013)
    Giant Revel 1 Ltd (2013)
  • Two more bits of advice:

    Invest in some waterproof socks (eg Sealskinz). Nothing demotivates like wet feet and although they aren't 100% effective, they are really very good indeed.

    Get into Strava (if you've got a smartphone there's a free App) and start racing yourself and other commuters who do the same trip, (or parts thereof). It relieves the boredom of doing the same journey each day if you've got an objective to beat.

    Good luck with the challenge you've set yourself - I know some mornings are easier than others.
    Pride and joy: Bianchi Sempre
    Commuting hack: Cube Nature
  • HoopdriverHoopdriver Posts: 2,023
    I took to cycling into work more than twenty years ago, back when I was a journalist on a newspaper in Melbourne Australia, and quite literally it ended up changing the course of my life in all sorts of curious and unexpected and wholly positive ways. I write for magazines these days and live in England, these being some of the life-changes that were ultimately brought about by thoughts and ideas generated by these daily jousts with traffic. I have since written a short story about my first tentative rides to work, and although it is too long to post here I thought I would put a link to it if you are interested. You never know where these rides could lead you... ... of-chance/
  • Yeah some decent socks is a good idea, thanks. I'm thinking a head torch would be useful as well. Wouldn't like to change a flat in the dark. I've seen some spoke reflectors which also look useful.

    Nice website love the photographs on your site
  • MuffintopMuffintop Posts: 296
    Mikey41 wrote:
    Pheasants are the stupidest birds in all of creation. I've nearly been hit in the face by them about 4 times now :lol:

    It's when they lie down flat to hide in short green grass as you go past. You can virtually stand right on top of one before it'll move, pretending it doesn't know that you can see it. They are in all of creation the least self aware animals ever. Apparently they come from Spain hence their red colours and dumbassedness.
    FCN: Brompton: 12, Tourer: 7, Racer: 4
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