Yesterday I did my first full cycle commute for over 10-years. 

I have ridden past my place of work numerous times on weekend and week-night training rides. Via cycleroute 64 it’s under 15-miles, so represents a decent commute — especially on a fresh October (almost November) morning. 

So Sunday evening I ironed and rolled up my trousers and shirt and placed them in one of my panniers. In the other pannier I placed my U-lock and my waterproofs (my Hush Puppies were already positioned under my desk at work). 

After filling up on fresh coffee and Shreddies, I braved the crisp morning air and began peddling to work. Dressed in my usual black Lycra, but with the addition of newly procured Planet X winter gloves and Pearl Izumi arm and leg warmers to ensure I didn’t reach work half frozen.

To be honest it was fabulous. While my lightweight Boardman felt unusually lumbering under my rear — now fitted with a rack and laden panniers, the feeling of self-propelled progress through the waking streets of Newark was exhilarating. I knew the route well, but I gave myself a good twenty minutes buffer before I had to be at my desk. I didn’t need it.

I arrived on-time and feeling brilliant. I could sense the quiet admiration of my colleagues, even if they did jest about my Lycra-clad legs.

I was well prepared when I got to the office. My clothes were dry, and having been rolled not folded, looked fine. I’m someone who overheats easily, so I packed baby-wipes to freshen up and a roll-on deodorant to keeps things smelling good. It all worked a treat. The roll-on and wipes now live in my desk ready for the next cycle commute.

Unfortunately, due to my wife working shifts, I will have to use the car for work most days, but I should be able to ride in at least twice a week. I worked out this will save me around £20 a week in fuel and help me continue to become a better cyclist. 

The only issue being that my new Knog Blinders, while being absolutely brilliant at drawing driver attention, didn’t light up the journey enough for me to tackle the unlit trail part of Route 64 in the dark on the way home. Maybe next time, we’ll see.

My next commute is Friday. I can’t bloody wait. 🙂


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