Things I've learnt from commuting

zeabre's Photo zeabre 30 Aug 2011

And of course, all these are personal, and your experience may differ!
Preparation is key.
I can never just recovery ride...so:
My legs are always sore.
Wind can change direction in an instant, even reverse around corners, laughing in your face.
Sunrises are beautiful.
I've become addicted to it.
I can't eat an apple and swallow while riding!
Bike setup is key!
Most commuters are friendly.
I arrive home 200% mofe relaxed.
My rear tyre (mtb) gets killed on the tar.
Consult windguru, but don't worry about windguru!
There's always a race waiting to happen!
People do the oddest things in cars sitting in traffic.

Yours?
Reply

Tazza007's Photo Tazza007 30 Aug 2011

Preparation and (later in the week) self-motivation is key.
I can never just recovery ride...DITTO, I've given up on that one it always has to be flat out!!!
My legs are always tired / heavy / burning especially climbing stairs at work.
Wind can change direction in an instant, and I've become a wind expert to be able to predict rain according to wind direction :)

Sunrises are beautiful - ALWAYS
Cycling at dawn is - refreshing
The morning sounds of birds / animals is stunning and addictive!
The smell of the fresh air is revitalising.

Most commuters are friendly - yeah, MOST.
The workers on their single speeds ALWAYS give me a run for my money! :clap:
There's always a race waiting to happen - unless the legs are dead.

I arrive home 200% mofe relaxed - DITTO
My rear tyre (mtb) gets killed on the tar - DITTO

Always have a Plan B available for those unexpected turn of events - my sister works at the same place as I do (she is my Plan B B).

People do the oddest things in cars sitting in traffic - for sure.
Some motorists are friendly when stopped next to them - others make a point of looking the other way.
Only two motorists thus far actually SAID THAT I WAS MAD to be cycling in the cold and dark ... others probably all think it.

IT IS SO MUCH FUN to constantly pass work collegues who are stopped at red robots. You pass them, they pass you, you pass them, they pass you, then you get home the same time as they do - BUT YOU'VE at least EXERCISED in that time they've been stressing in traffic!

You get idiots on the road - you just have to think for them too.

Would you give up commuting to work - I would not change it for the world! :P
Edited by Tazz007, 30 August 2011 - 12:09 .
Reply

Nobody's Photo Nobody 30 Aug 2011

I have learnt:

Spares are crucial for yourself and others. If you give a tube it will come back.
The wind always looks worse than it is.
I detour along the lagoon for that extra WOW factor.
Watch the front tire of the vehicle as this is the earliest warning (generally the ladies are bad drivers and the guys are aggro)
Obey the rules of the road.
Greet everybody, even walkers. Have met some interesting runners and dog walkers.

the colder the ride in to work, the more special that shower is.
you cant have too many lights.
people think you mad as you smiling, chatting and laughing while they rushing to get home.

Car accidents are horrible and is something I will never wish on anyone. You seem to see more of the damage from a bicycle than a car.
Edited by Nobody, 30 August 2011 - 01:45 .
Reply

LeTurbo's Photo LeTurbo 30 Aug 2011

To slow down, have a look at things, smell the roses.
To try coming to work from different directions.
That it's easy to ride somewhere, have a coffee and still get to the office on time.
That taxi drivers can be interesting chaps to chat to.
That pedestrians are the biggest ******.
To check my nuts (both types) and bolts regularly (if anyone sees the silver bearing cap off a Campy pedal, please call me. It's irreplaceable).
That the world is wonderful.
That I save about R1000 a month on petrol.
That even riding in the rain ain't so bad.
That bad weather looks worst through a window.
That there's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.
That I haven't had a cold since I started (touch wood).
To carry my yellow Capestorm windbreaker at all times.
To watch the road ahead through cars' windows.
To stop and let idiots execute whatever dumb act of driving they're busy with.
That drivers think the hooter operates the brakes.
Edited by LeTurbo, 30 August 2011 - 02:04 .
Reply

Hairy's Photo Hairy 30 Aug 2011

Never forget your pants at home!
Reply

Thinkbeeg's Photo Thinkbeeg 30 Aug 2011

Nice list, apart from my lights the most important tool is my bike bell.

And know where which part of your route you can go flat out and which parts you must rather take it easy.
Reply

zeabre's Photo zeabre 30 Aug 2011

haha! Or shirt! So many true things here. I myself save R1200 on diesel by leaving the Hilux at home. So true about the weather, looking shite from the 9th floor here. Oh well. I REALLY need to get a bell.
Reply

Tiny K's Photo Tiny K 30 Aug 2011

I would love to commute but 65Km one way every day is a tough ask....esp if there is no shower at work. Wold be a great workout though :thumbup:
Reply

Hairy's Photo Hairy 30 Aug 2011

I would love to commute but 65Km one way every day is a tough ask....esp if there is no shower at work. Wold be a great workout though :thumbup:


I knew an elderly gentleman (Read really old) who used to cummute to work from Table View to Houtbay and back again ... toughen up Tiny K :)
Reply

NielC's Photo NielC 30 Aug 2011

Pack the night before 'cos I am guaranteed to get struck by laziness in the morning. NOTHING beats commuting to work. Sometimes I love it so much I let out a yelp (or two) from excitement! Morning and late afternoon/evening air - amazing. cool thread!
Reply

tombeej's Photo tombeej 30 Aug 2011

Double and triple check you got everything (do I have the office keys to open up?). Then check again.

Pepper spray within easy reach, always, just in case.

Cell phone in a hard case, in case of a fall.

Especially if it's a long ride in the dark, a small hand torch in the backpack. Ever tried to change a tyre blindfolded? Try it! That's what it's like in the black when you can hardly see your hands (no street lights between DBN and Ballito).

A second spare tire in the backpack. Because if that spare also blows (has happened to me) then jy's in die kak.

Lights, lights and more lights. Two red flashers on the back, strong headlight on the front, reflectors on the helmet and ankles. I know a guy who I pass regularly in Umgeni road who has an entire christmas tree light show (those neon blue plastic tubes you use instead of traditional lights) wrapped all around his bike.
Reply

kosmonooit's Photo kosmonooit 30 Aug 2011

I have more than 9 lives!
Reply

MoreTrails's Photo MoreTrails 30 Aug 2011

That a cuddly warm body is possibly the single biggest commuter inspiration destroyer.....IN THE WORLD :blush:
Reply

DJR's Photo DJR 30 Aug 2011

I've learnt that forgetting your work socks at home is a bigger oversight than forgetting your underpants. Going commando at work is no big deal but everyone look at you funny wearing a pair of cycling socks.
Reply

tombeej's Photo tombeej 30 Aug 2011

I've learnt that forgetting your work socks at home is a bigger oversight than forgetting your underpants. Going commando at work is no big deal but everyone look at you funny wearing a pair of cycling socks.



Yep. And the belt.
Reply

cat-i's Photo cat-i 30 Aug 2011

Never forget your pants at home!


or the shoes. cycling shoes just don't seem to go well with the corporate suit.
Reply