Wednesday I decided would be the best day to try commuting on the bicycle for the first time. I got everything set the night before and bright and early – 0550, I rolled out of the driveway headed for the station, about 12km away.
First impressions – the days are getting shorter and at this time I’m going to need lights to see as well as lights to attract attention (which I did have). It was cool (perhaps about 17C) and I wonder how it would be in winter…
But lots of cycle paths to follow almost the whole way to the station so actually really safe.
I arrived at the station, probably a few minutes after an earlier train departed (I was well ahead of schedule) and about 30mins before the train I planned was due out. Feeling good so far, I decided to ride on and see how it went.
I arrived at the other end of my train journey about 5mins after the train would have arrived. So I covered in about an hour what the train would have taken 30mins. Not too bad.
The last couple of kms to work was pretty tough though as I didn’t have much energy left (must eat breakfast next time!) and 2hours and 40km later I arrived at the office, tired but impressed.
So there’s the next tip – eat first. Also there were a few less cycle paths on this leg.
The day was a hot one, bitting 38C before it was home time. I decided to ride as intended all the way home.
It was really hot, there was more traffic and more wind. It was tough and when I was several kms away from any station, it was too late to realise I should have trained it.
Mrs called about every 30mins or so to check on me – she was understandably concerned but I was actually going ok. Slower than the morning, but ok.
And I was certainly slower. Stopped several times for a rest, and just a slower pace (avg 15kmh, not 20kmh I had done in the morning) meant that it took over 2.5hours.
More tips – hot days, train halfway home, ride the last 12km until I’m more used to it. If its cooler, maybe you can ride the whole way.
Oh, and I must find a new inner sole to replace the one I lost a while back in one of my shoes.
Overall, nearly 75km in one day. Almost 5hours of riding. And a good recovery.
Things to fix/improve
- lights for the morning (sorted)
- new inner sole (sorted)
- eat breakfast first (and maybe freeze a water??)
- don’t be stubborn and use the train if its really hot
- armband or something to hold my Opal card and ID card (to get into work)
Oh, and my Opal card has arrived.