The world has changed beyond measure over the last couple of months and we're all trying to calibrate ourselves around a 'new normal'.
Bicycle travel is experiencing a huge surge as city-dwellers everywhere take to two-wheels to avoid public transport or clogging up roads in their cars.
Many businesses are still running remotely, but some offices are starting to re-open and many more are likely to follow over the next couple of months. If you are preparing for a return to the office, you might be considering a cycle commute for the first time ever. Fantastic.
This week we're sharing some advice on cycle commuting from our most committed two-wheeled commuter: our designer Sam.
Sam at the end of the Dunwich Dynamo, 2019. His trusty Brompton's big adventure out of the big smoke!
Sam has been a Bromptoner ever since he started his previous job. Commuting daily from London to somewhere near Coventry, Sam needed a way of getting to Euston station quickly and then from Coventry station to his office at the other end. After nailing a speedy (11 seconds to be precise) fold and unfold routine, Sam was able to shave valuable time off of his trip (but did often end up cutting it so fine that he would cycle along the platform)!
Nowadays he is working from home but had been commuting daily from North London to our office in Bermondsey. Once cycle commuting became a habit he did it pretty much every day come rain, shine, or winter darkness...and can't wait to get cycle commuting again.
Sam's Top Tips
1. Get yourself a good helmet. Safety first, people! With his slick black Thousand helmet he doesn't have to sacrifice style for safety either. It even comes with a D-bar hole to lock it to his bike.
2. Stay hydrated! As the weather hots up, it's important to have some water handy so that you don't arrive at work totally parched. Your bike should have a couple of screws on the down tube for a bottle cage - install one there any you can have a quick swig at even the shortest of traffic lights.
3. Keep a towel and some shower gel at the office. Most days Sam manages to keep cool enough to not need a shower on arrival but it is always good to have the option.
4. Try lots of routes. There will likely be lots of ways to get to and from the office. Set waypoints at different nice places (perhaps a cycle path through the park) and let your Beeline think of the best route between them. Sometimes adding an extra 5 minutes can double the enjoyability.
5. Keep on top of bike maintenance. Sam is very on it when it comes to bike maintenance and never has a problem. If you're commuting every day, take your bike in for a service once every six months, and keep your tyres pumped up in between. Sam recommends Schwalbe Marathon tyres. He has never had a puncture!
6. Give yourself some extra time on your first week in the saddle. Once you have got into the swing of things, you'll be blasting along, but it's good to leave some wriggle room while you gain confidence in your riding and route.
In the winter, it's also a good idea to invest in some good bike lights and a hi-vis jacket. For now, though, the gloriously long days make these unnecessary on most commutes!