Arbroath's Kev Bruce has quickly gone from non-cyclist to regular, committed commuter and even pan-Scotland charity rider. Kev loves the solitude that bike commuting brings but could do without the Scottish wind and the loose dogs he sometimes meets on the way.
Above: Kev, bike, Andy Kershaw and Buster (Kershaw's dog) promoting a SAMH fundraiser.
Name: Kev Bruce
Workplace: SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) Dundee, Scotland
Tell us about your commuting rig:
It’s a Merida Speeder T1, it’s got Shimano gears on it and I put a pannier rack on back for laptop and clothing, I’ve changed pedals to the SPD type (I think) I’m clipped in now anyway! I changed tyres as the ones that were pre fitted cut up terribly on the cycle path and I fitted ergonomic hand grip things (as you can tell I’m new to cycling and not au fait with terminology)
What’s your commute like?
20 miles each way, from Arbroath to Dundee it is uphill all the way and rises approx 500m over the twenty miles (300m in the first 6 miles), coming home is quicker as it’s downhill, SUSTRANS route no 1 follows the A92 all the way, but runs out at Dundee then it’s on various paths or busy roads, I sometimes take alternative route no1 along the River Tay as it’s scenic but usually busy with dog walkers!
How many days a week do you commute by bike?
Depends on meetings, on average three/four days a week, lately I’ve been getting train in to Dundee then cycle 4 miles all uphill then cycling back to Arbroath at night, so some form of cycling daily is the norm
What do you enjoy the most about bike commuting?
Solitude, time to unwind on way home, knowledge that I’m getting fitter and healthier.
What’s your least favourite thing about commuting by bike?
The wind, I’m on a coastal route in Scotland!!!
What are your main reasons to commute by bike?
Saving money and my employers starting cycle to work scheme and to get fit
Have you got any funny or interesting bike commuting stories or experiences to share?
I work for Scotland’s leading mental health charity and came up with the daft idea of cycling round Scotland to raise funds and awareness of mental health issues. Read about it here.
My first commute to work was into a 25 mph wind and took over two hours and I swore that I would never ride a bike again!
Another time I was grabbed and nearly pulled off my bike by a “friendly” Labrador on my first cycle run along the scenic route, I know the dog was friendly as the owner told me he was being so, to be fair it’s tail was wagging so I took that as a sign that I was not having my arm ripped off and that the dog just wanted to play, I did have to buy a new jacket though. I regularly get chased by small yapping dogs, while owners scream at them, I think it’s the pedals going round that they don’t like?
What’s your killer commuting tip?
It’s “mind over matter” on dark cold wet n wild winter mornings, so my tip is to firmly establish the “ritual” of getting ready and the “habit” of riding every day no matter what the weather (take the train when there is a hurricane tho’)
Are you a British Cycling Member? If so how does your British Cycling membership support your bike commuting?
No I’m not a member, I didn’t do enough research prior to getting insurance etc sorted out so missed out on the many benefits of membership but will switch in a couple of months :O)
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