Becoming a cyclist: commuting

I started cycling to work in December 2014. Although I’ve ridden since I was a kid, it had mainly been round the quiet back roads where I lived, or along the canal.

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Cycling on roads is a different story and took a while to get used to. Becoming a confident commuting cyclist is one of my proudest achievements.

Practice lets you know how to ride: exactly where to position yourself on busy junctions; how much time it takes to get to the head of the queue at traffic lights; how to look behind you whilst continuing to cycle forwards; the exact angle you need to turn.

Being able to ride to work every day makes me very happy. It’s made me trust my abilities and branch out, cycling to more new places across the city, having the ‘could I cycle there?‘ question come up as an option every time I plan to go out.

It’s made me believe I could cycle further than ever; and then go out and do that.

I’ve taken basic repair courses and bought panniers, which have been revolutionary. I’m not afraid of cycling on Oxford Road, home to the busiest bus route in Europe, or in the city centre, with it’s confusing one-way system. I have the Italian what-the-hell-are-you-doing gesture down cold.¬†I’ve even overtaken slower cyclists (rarely, but it does happen).

If you’re thinking about cycling to work, but are unsure, just have a go. Try one day at the weekend, or at a time when it’s quiet. Get a friend to go over the route with you and show you the best way to go. If it’s too far, go for shorter rides until you build up your endurance.

Who else cycles to work?