The system & the rain

I friend at work asked me today if I’d checked the weather for riding to work tomorrow,

I replied a bit puzzled “No, Why”

“Well” said the friend “what if it’s raining?”

“Then it rains”.

This got me thinking on the change in attitude cycle commuting brings. I do not worry about the weather when I’m cycling to and from work, I used to, but now I don’t.

If it’s raining when I set off, I wear a water proof jacket.

If it’s really raining, I wear full water proofs, (jacket, trousers,socks & shoes) But it’s also got to be fairly cold too. (which it usually is here)

If it’s cold I wear another layer,

If it’s snowing I wear another layer + water proofs

All my gear is in the garage next to my bikes so I just pick it up and go, just like all my clothes are in a pile near the back door so I get up stumble downstairs pull my gear on and go.

“How organised” you say,

“Well good for you” others pronounce

“You anal git”……. “Oi!”

Anyway when I first started to commute I used a massive rucksack and containing within:

  • Full change of clothes for the day (including work boots)
  • lunch, (usually tin of soup + other bits not light)
  • water proof jacket (if not wearing it)
  • Spares & repair kit (pump, 2 tubes, repair kit, chain lube, chain tool, tyre levers, chain links, electrical tape, zip ties, plasters, paracetamol, hay fever tablets)

So I could just about lift the bag onto my back, I then rode to work in very short cheap baggy cycling shorts, free ride long sleeve top, Piss pot helmet, feet in toe clips, walking boots on feet!

I can not believe how hard it used to be to get to work!

But over the last year or so there has been a transition I now go with the following:

  • Smaller rucksack
  • Shirt / t-shirt & under wear, (I take most clothes in on a Monday for the rest of the week)
  • Lunch (smaller soups, fruit, tinned fish, porridge – all purchased and brought in Monday)
  • Water proofs, (as previously said if it looks like rain I’ll wear it if not don’t)
  • Spares, (spare tube, levers, zip ties,CO2 pump in saddle bag – multi tool, Allen keys, Samaritan tube in rucksack)

Clothing for the commute is now usually, cycling shorts, cycling top, cycling shoes, XC helmet,

I hadn’t even noticed the transition of:
leaving boots at work,
leaving a spare shirt & trousers at work,
Bring in more on Monday and less through the week,

The slow evolution of clothing to get to the most practical minimalist stage has taken while and for a while it was hard but it gets easier. (either that or you just get used to it)

I think what I am trying to say is that my commuting experience has come along way and that when you change your lifestyle to commuting by bike it will be hard for a while but it gets easier and is so very worth while.

I’ve even inspired a couple of colleagues to do it too!

The system broke down a bit today I wore the non water proof jacket in the rain! very wet!


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