8 ways to identify a fellow cycle commuter

One of the most popular London Cyclist posts last year was ‘8 moments all cycle commuters will understand’ย – you guys liked it so much, we thought we’d follow it up with 8 ways you can identify other commuters in your work place…

Of course, if you’ve got a communal bike rack, and arrive in at the same time, then it’s quite obvious they you both arrived on two wheels, but what of the colleague who arrives before of after you? Here’s how to spot them…

1) Eats a second breakfast

It’s pretty common for people to eat breakfast at their desks (at my workplace, anyway), but the cycle commuter will nearly always tuck into a hearty bowl of porridge or granola on arrival – definitely a sure sign of someone who has just got off a bike.


2) Has a desk draw containing socks/deodorant/baby wipes

Most people sort themselves out at home, but these items, along with hair styling products, shower gel and even spare undies are a sure sign that your desk buddy is getting active in the morning

Endura Argyll Sock

3) Checks the weather – excessively

Of course, this weather checking is not, in our opinion, excessive at all – but to the average working, it may appear so. No one wants to be caught out by an unexpected shower or early darkness, so cycle commuters will always keep an eye on what the sky will be doing come home time.


4) Plugs lights into computer on arrival

Well, this is a dead giveaway.

During winter, it’s always good to get into the habit of checking how much juice your lights have, and charging that if need be. Most lights have USB ports, making this really easy for desk workers…


5) Orders arriving from Wiggle/Evans Cycles/CRC

No one wants to miss the arrival of their new gilet/jersey/lights/pedals/other – so a lot of cyclists have their new bling posted to them at work.

Arrivals from the major cycling brands are a dead giveaway – just make sure you get in on the Haribo action if there’s an orange logo on the box…

download (2)

6) Seems healthy, well rested, and less stressed

Regular exercise is good for both physical and mental health. Sustrans recently suggested regular cycle commuting could cut sick days in half, as well as reducing the risk of serious diseases, and saving time and money ย for individuals.

Tissues - cycling with a cold

7) Sometimes has a little spec of mud on chin or very rosy cheeks

Even with the very best shower facilities, sometimes it’s easy to miss that little fleck of mud after a wet ride in, and that healthy rosy glow doesn’t doesn’t disappear immediately. The good news is these are the signs of a person who has enjoyed getting a good dose of Vitamin E in the morning.

8) Always arrives with a smile

A sure sign of someone who enjoyed their commute – and definitely someone we’d enjoy a good natter with over our coffee break.

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16 Responses to 8 ways to identify a fellow cycle commuter

  1. Gpunto 12/02/2015 at 8:07 pm #

    The list above made me smile.
    I fall into 7 (out of 8) commuter’s habits. The exception being the rechargeable lights since I am still using AAA batteries, which my bottom drawer is full of.

  2. Phil 13/02/2015 at 7:38 am #

    I’m not allowed to plug any non-work USB kit into my PC, but I can always identify the other cyclists by towels, gloves and sometimes socks on the nearby radiators.

  3. Mik 13/02/2015 at 9:32 am #

    Hmm, not sure I’d get deliveries at work. Then I’d have to carry them home again and that’s more weight ๐Ÿ™‚ . Also, once I’m in, I don’t check the weather, I’ve already got my options for the ride home, not a lot I can do if I’ve got them wrong.

  4. Adam Edwards 13/02/2015 at 11:54 am #

    You forgot the 9th: Covers chairs with bright yellow rain gear on wet mornings!

  5. Rob McIvor 13/02/2015 at 2:12 pm #

    10. Arrives at work on time, unfazed, when bad weather, tube strikes, pigeon droppings on the line or whatever mean everyone is arriving at 10.30 and looking stressed.

    • Vincent 21/02/2015 at 11:57 pm #

      Indeed, strikes are very good to promote commuting by bike ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. fern 13/02/2015 at 6:58 pm #

    The weather .. blah .. we ride anyway the only thing that stops a real commuter is ice, and a flat. I have not had a flat since I put on marathon +
    Riding miles in gale force headwinds and driving rain then getting to work where they say “you rode through THAT !!!” that is satisfaction even if no one notices I do.
    For me me it is about endurance not speed and a deep and abiding hatred of the Tube.
    The filthy hivis and tatty gloves come off the jacket is put on and I have had really good workout.
    The doctor says good when she takes my blood pressure and people donโ€™t believe my age.
    I was once offered a job half a mile from home and turned it down because it was not a decent ride. Four miles good eight miles better ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Quaternions 18/02/2015 at 8:16 pm #

      I remember once on the way home it was completely dumping on me. I was so drenched (even with rain gear) that I just didn’t care. I was laughing at the traffic lights watching all the miserable people behind the wheel of their cars, stuck in traffic.

      What was even better was when another cyclist road up next to me. We both looked at each other and laughed. Good times. I love riding in the rain. As long as I’m warm, I’m good. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Rowan De Bonaire 13/02/2015 at 7:21 pm #

    I like 6. Most of my work is in NL, where we it doesn’t apply (we ride Dutchies in work clothes) but wecould play the game “8 ways to Spot the car commuter”.

    1) irritable and short tempered.
    2) nurturing a growing paunch.
    3) Pasty complexion.
    4) Always seem in financial stress.
    5) Often late.
    6) Checks traffic reports – excessively!
    7) Takes days off or leaves early to organise servicing pickups/dropoffs
    8) Often diplays right-wing or excessively intolerant views towards other social groups.

  8. Spencer 14/02/2015 at 11:56 am #

    Few snide comments about hanging out my “washing” at work. Also traipsing into the office in lycra, sometimes with my unhappy face on if I’ve been cut up by a taxi or mr white van driver.

    The office I work in has almost a third cycle in, couple more who motorbike in and the rest use pubic transport. None of us drive cars into central London, not worth the hassle.

    Eat a second breakfast… tempting but I started cycling to work to lose weight (20 kg so far)

  9. georgie 16/02/2015 at 2:02 pm #

    Yup all of the above (other than deliveries). People do always comment on my rosy cheeks.
    Also – often forgets to remove hi-viz slap band / cycle clip from ankle.

  10. Dean 17/02/2015 at 8:45 am #

    Pretty much all of those, except that second breakfast. I have a big breakfast before I leave. I’d suggest another, that could be synchronising GPS devices.

  11. David Maurice 20/02/2015 at 10:32 am #

    How about an alternative 9th:

    9. Walking in on a half naked colleague trying to change discreetly in a store cupboard because they can’t be bothered to trek all the way to the toilets.

    Sadly, such an encounter has yet to turn into office love.

  12. Danny 12/06/2015 at 11:14 pm #

    Totally agree with all, apart from the delivery. I love the cycle, a choice of routes 11 to 15 miles. I am the office bore about biking but I am the inspiration for others and I am proud to promote it. It is great to power myself to work and still feel fresh. Need the government to back cycling more.

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