Of course, every mode of transport has its drawbacks – and those who cycle to work will likely recognise a few of these moments…
1) The ‘world is against me’ moment
Some rides go by with barely any trouble – no close overtakes, no unprompted shouting or horn honking, and no one cutting you up. Every so often, however, every idiot decides to be sharing your road at the same time. You spend the entire journey boiling with rage, and arrive at your destination ready to explode. Thankfully, these are rare, and in most cases you’ll get some enjoyable pedaling to help you forget the bad moments.
2) The ‘GPS/cycling computer fail’ moment
Maybe you’re training for an event, and logging miles. Maybe you just like to know how many miles you travel by bike a year. Maybe you’re into Strava, or perhaps you just want to know how far until you get to your destination – whatever the reason, if you use a GPS or cycling computer to tot up the miles, that ‘blleepp… battery low’ notification can strike fear into your heart. Even worse if you forgot to start it after the traffic lights.
3) The ‘where is my underwear’ moment
You arrive at work, hop in the shower (if you’re lucky), begin getting dressed, only to realise a crucial piece of clothing is missing. I know of people who have addressed the situation by running off to M+S before the day starts – that seems a bit extreme to me, but I suppose it depends how essential you believe your briefs are.
4) The ‘crow foot walk’ moment
A cold morning ride can be rather pleasant once you’ve started pedalling hard enough to warm up – your breath hangs in the air, the sun rises beautifully over the hills or city, and overshoes keep your feet seemingly fairly toasty. On arrival, you remove shoes and socks to find once pink, healthy looking toes are now a strange shade of purple. This level of numb foot is hard to recover from, and you’re likely to be hobbling around like a crow until about midday.
5) The ‘WHERE IS THE FOOD’ moment
If your commute is long enough to be considered a workout, and you’re riding quite hard – basically if you consider your commute a training ride – there are sometimes days when no food is enough food. These days are difficult, as you try to quietly unwrap that second cereal bar at your desk, or disappear off to the kitchen to glug half a pint of milk. Don’t worry, many of us have been there. Try a protein bar, they’re usually yummy, and it helps.
6) The ‘didn’t charge my lights’ moment
You got into work at 8.30am, sat down, and made a note to yourself “must remember to pop the lights on charge by at least midday”. Midday comes, you nip out for lunch, head into a meeting, or start a new project, the hours tick by, and suddenly it’s 5pm, and you’ve got an eye on the clock. Except you forgot to charge the lights. This means you either need to find an alternative (throw away batteries? torch?), or plug the light in and wait. It’s going to be a late one, then.
7) The ‘forgot my shoes’ moment
A little like number 2, but much more visible to the rest of the world. Since I work in a company with a lot of cycle commuters, I’ve seen it happen to three others, and myself: Arrive at work, go to locker – no shoes. Check desk – no shoes. Vaguely remember you took them home on Friday with the intention of a ‘work shoe refresh’. The choice now is between wearing cycling shoes for the day, wearing no shoes, or buying new shoes. In my case, I went for no shoes, and thankfully didn’t have anyone important to see.. Of course, if you’d read our ‘casual clipless shoes for men’ or ‘casual clipless shoes for women’ and bought a pair, you’d be fine.
8) The ‘wet sandwiches’ moment
Flimsy backpack, no waterproof cover, unsubstantial packaging = soggy bread. Not good, but a good excuse to get something yummy from the nearest cafe.
Have you got any to add? Let us know in the comments…
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.