[If you haven’t already, and are wondering why my cycle commuting tips might be controversial, please read the introduction!]
First, an non-controversial cycle commute tip. Just do it! Find a bike, leave the car at home, and ride to work.
Seriously. If you live within about 5 miles of where you work, there’s very little excuse. Give it a go!
I remember my first time. A fine, early-Autumn day, I woke up early, encouraged by a friend who consistently gets to work an hour before I do. I shoved some clothes into my paniers, donned some stupid-looking shorts, took my shiny new Raleigh hybrid bike from the shed, and rode through town, along the old fit track (a well-used cycle route that runs alongside a dual carriageway), and arrived, quickly and easily, at the office on the edge of town.
I won’t say it was a particularly momentous occasion, I guess it felt quite freeing not to have to use the car, but I don’t remember being that excited about it.
But I’d done it. I’d shown that I could get to work on two wheels and it wasn’t difficult. In some senses it was easier than using the car. There were good cycle routes, and having a friend who knew the way helped. There was really nothing not to like.
But this tip also applies to those already commuting by bike. Keep doing it! One of the best ways to learn the ups and downs is to get practice and experience. Try new routes, try someone else’s bike, try finding innovative solutions to the problems that you face as a cycle commuter.
And if you do…let me know how it went!