Here at London Cyclist, we like to get to know our readers. Today, we’d like to hear about how you start the day.
To kick it all off, I’ll share my own routine – I hope you all get involved and share your own!
The nature of my employer means that I work with a lot of cyclists. Our office is full of pictures of bicycles, we’ve got a special bike locking container and a drying room built specifically for preventing “wet kit on the way home” syndrome.
I’m always amazed by the number of people who embark upon 25 mile commutes into work, and then eat breakfast at their desk following the ride. Riding on an empty tummy is meant to promote fat burning, it is therefore apparently very good for the performance cyclist. I’d like to be a performance cyclist, but unfortunately I am too human, and too hungry.
Personally, I’m not capable of leaving my house without breakfast. I live at the bottom of a hill which I’m sure is about a 20% incline (ok – it’s 15%, but the one on the way home has GOT to be 20%). Breakfast before my ride might mean I’m a tad heavier getting up it, but without it I think I’d just roll back down.
When my alarm goes off I slip my feet into furry slippers, and trudge downstairs. Here is the first decision of the day: two scoops of whey protein, banana, milk, and a tiny bit of cereal, or a nice carb-rich bowl of porridge with apple and banana? And coffee – regardless there is always coffee.
Return to bed with my gatherings, hunted from the depths of the kitchen. Check emails. Check Facebook. Check Twitter. Discover the world is basically as it was the previous night, but so-and-so has decided to tell the world they that they are having bacon for breakfast. The wonders of social media.
Pack bag – work clothes, lunch (I advise newbie commuters to pack their bags before bed, I never do this). Check what’s going on outside – arm warmers and leg warmers or sunglasses today?
Then – I roll out my door. Carry the bike down some very steeps steps, set it down on the road and turn on my little Joule (like a Garmin, but by PowerTap).
I roll for 3 minutes on a flat road, then I basically have to do a 360 turn round a stupid mini round about, before heading up the hill. Strangely, the cars here are very respectful and usually give me a good distance when passing.
Finally I turn left, climb a bit more and the reach the brow of a hill. There is often a dog barking alarmingly loudly – the first time I heard it I was petrified because it wasn’t clear which side of the fence it was on – now I know it’s safely enclosed I whizz by.
The rest is mainly country lanes (I’m not right in the city, but I am within zone 6),up and down I go.
There is a long stretch where I’m sure if I were to speak I’d sound like a child imitating a ‘red Indian’ – you know – hand over an open round mouth going “awawawawa!” If this stretch is ever resurfaced I vow to “awawawa!” for 5 whole minutes in celebration.
Throughout this section, I don’t really get any hassle from cars – it’s about 14 miles before I pop out of the wonder of green leafy lanes and into the edge of town.
Then it all gets a bit less enjoyable. A million speedbumps in a row. Stupid junction where no one will let me turn right. A final stretch of straight road where I can expect multiple close overtakes, and a long queue of traffic to get into our business estate. I take great pleasure in overtaking on the right hand side (safely, when nothing is oncoming, though I know some people are less careful).
Arriving at work, I lock my bike up in the secure container, clip clop my way in my silly cycling clown shoes towards the changing rooms, and have a shower. Around now is the time I’ll know if I’m missing anything or have forgotten to pack an item – in the past it’s been shoes (I bought some), a bra (I had to wear my sweaty sports bra all day) and a towel (I used my jumper).
All this done, I toddle off to work, and drink a glass of milk, surrounded by my fellow cycling commuters, as they chow down their morning porridge. The day begins, and frankly, I’m ready for a nap.
So – your turn – tell us about your morning commute…
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.