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Commuter cyclists, need your advice please!

(13 Posts)
NewPenName Sat 26-Sep-09 08:55:53

have a 21 mile commute to work. I have several options for getting there:

1) car (takes up to 1 hr 20 mins) - freaks me out rather as hairy country roads (tortuous blind bends, mad drivers on yr bumper) and challenging city traffic & roundabouts at the other end)

2) walk (10 mins) to station, train (16 mins) then bus (wait + journey + walk other end, about 40 mins), total journey 1 hr 10-20 mins

3) cycle to station, take train, cycle 4miles to work the other end (total time 46 mins)

If you're still with me. obviously option 3 is the most efficient. however, I need to look smart,suit, nice shoes plus I unfortunately have to hot desk so can't stash clothes/make-up/papers etc at work, also need to carry laptop with me wherever I go. Also, no shower at work (but there is a private gym nearby which i could join to transform myself of a morning?)

Is a bike going to be feasible? Or would i get to sweaty/overbalanced by all the stuff I'd have to carry? If a bike, I was either going to get a folding one as PITA to get 1 of the only 2 bike spaces on the train or leave the bike at the city station the other end (in which case would need to remove panniers with contents and travel with them on train/foot? hmm

Any advice appreciated!

NewPenName Sat 26-Sep-09 08:56:13

too sweaty even.

NewPenName Sat 26-Sep-09 09:17:53

are you all out cycling?

NewPenName Sat 26-Sep-09 13:19:26


NewPenName Sun 27-Sep-09 10:46:01


twooter Sun 27-Sep-09 10:50:22

could you use a rucksac? my dh has one for his laptop and other stuff.

MrsBadger Sun 27-Sep-09 10:56:24


I say investigate gym - not only will they have showers but also lockers where you can leave your work shoes/ makeup etc

biking city end only also viable so long as bike park is secure.

NB tot up costs carefully - folding bike + gym fees might mean the train & bus is more economical if tedious.

foxinsocks Sun 27-Sep-09 10:57:07

walk to station (10 mins), take train, cycle to work (4 miles). Leave bike at work/station.

and yes to rucksack and private gym option (though we have people at work who just change in the loos). At some gyms you can rent lockers and leave work shoes e.g. in your locker so minimising what you are carrying.

foxinsocks Sun 27-Sep-09 10:57:46

cross post there with mrsb

DuchessOfAvon Sun 27-Sep-09 10:58:43

Am an ex-cycling commuter but didn't want to leave you unanswered!

Showers: Depends on your cycle and how strenuous it is. My journey into work was all downhill so I never broke a sweat. Therefore I just changed out of cycling kit at work and didn't shower - just a good spritz of deo. (Coming home was another matter - urgh.)

Bike/Station - I had a friend who had two bikes and kept them at each end of the journey. He had a good bike which was the one he used on his home leg and then a cheaper, older one that he left at the station at the work end.

I carried the lap top in a pannier with no problems - you can get some good quality, waterproof ones and there are some even designed specifically for carrying a laptop.

Clothes - you will need some kind of locker. I used to leave some trousers or skirts at work & bring in shoes, tights, a top and some jewellery. You need to get a good capsule wardrobe worked out and find tops that come out of the pannier looking good. Talk to your workplace and see if they can sort out something for you. We had some lockers in the basement.

I loved cycle commuting. I have never been as fit since I stopped. It was a great way to unwind at the end of the day.

JackDonaughey Sun 27-Sep-09 11:02:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NewPenName Sun 27-Sep-09 11:08:40

thanks for the responses! Thought i was alone there for a while. Shall read & digest all your tips.

pyjamalama Sun 27-Sep-09 11:09:50

There are some good panniers that turn into bags, if you wanted the option of leaving the bike in the city. I have some Dutch ones called Basil that would be perfectly comfortable to carry for a 10 minute walk, and I have also seen a laptop bag with a shoulder strap that fits on a basket rack at the front (sorry can't remember brand).

I cycle about 6 miles a day (to work/school, home at lunch as I work half days, back to pick up the kids, home again) and ride at a sedate pace in my normal clothes on a sit up and beg bike and I'm pretty sure I don't smell/look vile!

If you are hotdesking at work it seems rather unreasonable to me that you are not provided any space to keep your stuff, so perhaps push your workplace a bit on that.

My husband does the private gym option (longer commute, about 6 miles and he has only one speed - super fast!). He keeps his clothes at gym/work and sends everything to be laundered in town, which is brillant actually and cuts down on ironing stress at home.

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