Tag Archives: commute

How My Work Commute Kept Me Sane

A soothing alarm gently forces me out of my dream and triggers an automatic reflex as my arm glides out from beneath the sheets to hit the ‘off’ button. By now I’m so programmed by routine that I spring into action like clockwork and pull on my cycling clothes. My brain won’t fully engage until I’ve eaten something and the portion that’s controlling me now only has one simple objective; find the kitchen and consume honey and peanut butter on toast. Though full of people, the house is deadly silent, my family are sleeping and my neighbours won’t be awake until after I’m gone – these next few minutes are mine alone. I can’t hang around, I must move quickly, efficiently and quietly. I have a cold dark ride ahead and I don’t want to be disturbed. This is my favorite time of the day.

My bike sits waiting for me in the garage, she’s ready to go, I can almost feel it. I can see the thin coating of frost on the garage door and I know when I grab the bike’s frame its painted aluminium surface will suck the warmth from my hands making me hurry. The next ten minutes pass by unnoticed as I go through the motions of a predictable and safe routine. But as I glance at the clock I see that time is running out. My body as well as my mind knows what comes next and I feel excitement growing.

I can imagine myself cycling and envisage every  turn, hill and camber in the imminent ride. As I boil the kettle my mind wanders forwards, I see myself climbing up the hill out of my village, lit by dim orange street lamps. My heart is fooled by the daydream and responds, it beats faster in my chest and I feel restless. I wolf down the last round of toast, finish off my tea and head for the door. Continue reading How My Work Commute Kept Me Sane

Why I use mountain bike SPDs on my road bike

My road bike Sebastian
Sebastian - the heavy chain comes off for faster rides

I often get asked why I use mountain bike SPD’s on my road bike, at races it must seem pretty unusual, everyone knows that road SPD-SL pedal, cleat and shoe systems are faster right? Right! I’m sure they are when measured in a laboratory or when firmly attached to a professional cyclist. But alas I am not a professional cyclist and nor do make a habit of hanging about labs. The reason I use them is because they’re far better for walking on. The cleats are embedded up into the sole of the shoe and made of metal, this means that not only when you walk that you’re not clomping along on your cleats, but even on the odd occasion they do come in contact with the ground they don’t wear away so quickly. Continue reading Why I use mountain bike SPDs on my road bike