It may be raining, it may be windy (worse actually) but I’ll always be on the bike to work. How do I sell this? Time and ease. I commute from the outskirts of Edinburgh to central Glasgow. A soggy bus ride and walk to the station platform would mean a 1hr 40 commute; driving is out of the question due to parking, a variable 1hr to 1hr 40 commute on the M8 (and my sanity); but a bike ride to the platform and hop on a train is 1 hour door to door. No waiting for a bus that’s late, no waiting in a line for the second phase at traffic signals; no need to worry about congestion; you simply slide by and get the ability to go door to door with bike in tow.
Lets set the record straight now, I’m no lycra man. I cycle with a work shirt, helmet, gloves (to protect the fingers from the wind chill), lightweight trousers (golf ones if you must ask even though I don’t play golf) and a bag with water and a rain mac in case. Smart enough should I meet any contact on the train (a regular occurrence) and easy enough to commute in.
So in January this year I needed a new bike. My 10yr old one from the last C2W scheme had done me proud but was starting to show it’s age. All hail the C2W scheme. It allowed me to get a new commuter bike to keep me going. So what did I get? Well I got new shoes (to keep the rain out), new mudguards, locking skewers and a bike. In that order and – yes – all on the scheme, as it’s all C2W related. I knew the bike I wanted; an upright hybrid which could handle rough roads, canal paths and potholes that was not too flashy for thieves! All done and ordered from my chosen shop in under a few hours.
I’ve refined the way I commute by bike over the years and so ask anyone in your office what they do. Take your view on what you want. My advice on embarking on the cycling journey. Don’t get a mountain or race bike; you want normal tyres and a relatively easy ride. Do get locking skewers (rather than quick release wheels), full length mudguards and a decent lock. Don’t think you need to have a full change of clothes; I wear my work shirt and smartish trousers so no have need to change if I don’t want to (keeping a suit in a bag in the office). Finally, do take your time to do the commute; don’t be a Chris Hoy and be all hot and sweaty at the end; enjoy it more.
This is not a party political message, government health message, nor will I endorse the health benefits or smug factor from C2W. It doesn’t feature for me. Door to door with ease every day, whatever the day, is the key.
(Colin got a Specalized Sirrus, full length mudguards, locking skewers, a pair of (urban) cycle shoes and gloves purchased through the C2W scheme in Jan 2020)