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Bike by Public Transport. Sometimes, a 30 mile commute to work just isn’t plausible, so why not take the train? Mixing up your commute by boarding the train with your beloved bike is a great option when heading deep into the winter season, especially if driving isn’t an option.
Bear in mind some silly buggers don’t allow bikes on trains. Slightly unreasonable, I know – you can check ahead and plan your journey on the National Rail Line website.
The most common reasons for being unable to take your bike aboard a busy train is lack of space; having to stand awkwardly in the doorway, manoeuvring at every single stop, whilst getting funny looks and the jaw clenching 'tuts' – arghh that drives me berserk! Often events control the acceptance of bringing your bike on board too, so double check there isn’t any engineering works or big match games on.
On a positive note, the train lines that do let you bring your bike to work make sure you’re looked after relatively well. Generally there’s a separate compartment rack and/ or designated areas you can lock up to and sometimes they’re even bookable in advance!
Rush Hour; when commuter carnage usually breaks out. City cycling isn’t ideal at any time, really… But there’s ways and means to staying safe on busy roads – I’m afraid being a seasoned pro at this kind of thing is irrelevant if you don’t take the necessary precautions.
- Wear bright clothing. There’s not much more dangerous than not being visible in heavy traffic. You can find yourself a good high viz helmet and some bright accessories ideal for remaining seen.
- Use the cycle lanes. Where possible cycle in the lanes provided.
- Position yourself away from the curb. Keep around 3 feet away from the curb. This will allow vehicles to see where you are.
- Pack your recovery tools. Imagine trying to catch a bus/ train with a burst tyre. Bike over shoulders, inappropriate shoes for running, backpack swinging behind you. It’s a commuting nightmare. Tubes, pump and lock!
Packing and Carrying Kit on the Commute.
- Put your clothes for the day in a suit carrier, seal and roll up to avoid any creasing – gotta be on point for that 10 AM department meeting with the H.O.D.
- Ummm, whatelse? Waterproof mascara, helmet friendly hair? Lol. You can also get ear protectors now!!
- You may become more comfortable with relaxing some personal grooming standards as well... Wearing less makeup? , (just don’t give up the deodorant, for your coworkers’ sake!).
- And maybe best to rustle up some answers for the inevitable 'What are you doing?' questions to follow your arrival.
- We’d suggest a backpack over Panniers. Keep it light and practical. If you can leave certain things in the office overnight, that’s a godsend!
- Most importantly, don’t forget your coffee travel mug!
Clothing. Being bright and being seen are the 2 most important things to avoid any incidents, but you’ve got to be warm during these long haul winter commutes. All of our online stock is now available with long sleeve/ zip options and you can request the jersey design as a windcheeta/ Lite Jacket too. It’s a work in progress, so if you don’t see the drop down option, just give us an email and we can arrange an order for you.
If you don’t usually commute to work, but are maybe starting to consider it over the coming months as a winter training programme, or to avoid the inevitable public transport issues to come, have a look at this simple advisory programme suggested by some amongst the industry:
Week 1, ride to work Tuesday. Leave bike at work. Ride home Wednesday.
Week 2, ride to work Monday, ride home Tuesday. Ride to and from work Thursday.
Week 3, ride to and from work Monday. Ride to work Tuesday and home Wednesday. Ride to and from work Thursday.
Repeat weeks 2 and 3 alternately for a month or so before increasing to a daily commute or as many days as the commuter is comfortable with.
You might also be interested in Winter Training Tips...
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