We’ve all been there: it’s 6am, the alarm goes off – and it’s blowing a gale out there, the rain is hammering down – you just don’t feel like riding your bike. You come up with a few excuses, and convince yourself to find other means of transport.
Well – don’t – because here are the answers to your excuses:
It’s wet, cold and miserable
That’s absolutely fine as long as you have good kit – it really is true that there is no such bad think as poor weather, only poor clothing. We recently reviewed the Endura Gridlock II jacket- which will keep you dry and warm, and for more examples of great kit for wet and wintery weather, check out this post.
When you arrive at work, remove your waterproofs or change into your civvies, you will be able to enjoy the satisfaction of knowing you beat Mother Nature on your bike.
The dark is making you nervous
Dark mornings and pitched black evenings can make riding feel hazardous. It really doesn’t need to be that way with the right lights.
Bike lights are split into two categories: “be seen” – those that will make sure drivers can see you, but which will leave you relying on street lights to guide your way, and “seeing” – those that will actually show you the road.
“Seeing” lights aren’t cheap – but they mean you can ride in the dark in confidence – giving you more choice as to where you ride. If your commute has you go in and out of the city – you can enjoy quieter country lanes along the way.
My favourite seeing light is the Exposure Diablo – at £175 it’s not cheap – but remember it’s rechargeable, and all the cash you save on fares or petrol adds up over time whilst this just plugs into your mains.
We have more recommended bike lights.
Arriving at work is hassle
Not all work places make it easy to commute by bike. However – there are some simple things you can do yourself to make the arrival simple:
- Keep a couple of spare outfits at work – that way, if your backpack or panniers are going to be more full with extra items you need for the day, you already have a change of clothes.
- Have wet wipes at the ready if you don’t have good showers at work. If your workplace is lacking showers, there are a few more tips in our blog specifically about this struggle here.
- It’s best to use a D-Lock and a cable lock to secure your bike – but the D-Lock is no light item, is it? If you have company bike stands, leave a D-lock attached to the stand so you don’t have to transport it.
Riding in the cold will make me ill
Wrong! Without going all Dr Science on you, coughs and colds are caused by virus’, and these are spread through droplets suspended in the air and sometimes lingering on door handles and other surfaces. Being nose to armpit on the tube, surrounded by other commuters and all their sniffles, will increase your likelihood of being ill.
Moderate exercise, such as gentle commuting, will strengthen your immune system. Keeping active rids the lungs of airborne bacteria and viruses, increases blood flow which means good blood cells that fight infection reach potential damaging germs quicker, and reduces the release of stress-related hormones which can contribute to the likelihood of burying your nose in the tissues.
So there you go – no excuses! For more encouragement, check out 5 best things about winter cycling.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.