Converted to Cycling to Work (9th October 2011)

Since Friday 23rd September 2011 I have been a cyclist commuter, travelling 3.5–3.9 miles each way. Initially the door-to-door journey time was similar to that of the Tube. With practice, the set-up and set-down rituals at either end are now taken just a couple of minutes. Cycling in London is great!

The most fun journeys have been with Fiona, including a memorable nocturnal ride back from the Thames Festival earlier in September 2011.

The quite old £110 road racer bicycle I have has proven far faster than my old mountain bike in Fleet. When it comes to tarmac, 10mph is maintainable on the mountain bike.

That feels like dawdling on the racer, with 15mph being maintainable when I push hard, 18mph can be maintained and tailwinds made 20mph+ possible.

In less than half an hour, I get to whizz past all the cars and arrive ten minutes before the equivalent Tube journey.

Aside from the speed, it’s a much more active way to get around. Waiting for buses couldn’t be more passive. Riding a Tube is not far removed from being in a scrum. In a suit. In a sauna.

Locking your bicycle is essential, ideally storing inside a building. Basic oiling, adjusting of cables and tyres at the right pressure make the same machine twice as easy to propel. Twice as easy to enjoy.