Dan Braddock works for IT giant Hewlett Packard in Telford and gets there each day on his pride and joy 'Horatio', a Ridgeback World Voyage touring bike purchased on the Cycle to Work scheme. Feeling envigorated when he arrives at his desk is just one of the reasons why Dan commutes by bike. What's your reason?
Name: Dan Braddock
Workplace: Hewlett Packard Telford
Tell us about your commuting rig (don’t be afraid to get geeky):
My pride and joy is a Ridgeback World Voyage which I have on the Cycle to Work Scheme. When HP announced they were introducing the scheme I immediately signed up. I looked at few different models but immediately fell in love with the classic style of the Ridgeback. Rather sadly I have named him “Horatio”.
Above: Dan is one of many canny riders who have chosen the classic touring bike as their go-to bike for daily commuting. Their strength, speed, practicality and load carrying ability is hard to beat. (image: www.ridgeback.co.uk)
What’s your commute like (how long, hilly, flat, on road, off-road both)?
It’s not a massive commute at only 6km each way but with Telford being a New Town there are plenty of different routes I can take. I live on the side of a slope so as soon as I am on my bike I am confronted with some hard riding. However If I am feeling lazy then I have been known to take an easier route. As the nights get lighter I extend my ride home by a couple of Km which all helps in my training programme.
How many days a week do you commute by bike?
4-5 Days depending if I work from home. When I first started commuting I though 2-3 days a week was probably as much as I could do. However as I got fitter they car was left at home.
What do you enjoy the most about bike commuting?
I always feel invigorated when I arrive at my desk. A quick shower at the office rounds things off nicely. It improves my mood immensely. Your worst day on a bike is your best day in a car! My health and weight have improved dramatically since starting to cycle to work. Sailing past the long line of cars as they wait to leave the office.
What’s your least favourite thing about commuting by bike?
Badly maintained roads and cycle paths (Listen up Telford and the Wrekin Council!!!). Inconsiderate drivers/pedestrians/cyclist who are not aware of anything but themselves. Broken bottles right where I need to go.
What are your main reasons to commute by bike? (e.g. to keep fit, to save money, etc)
Firstly it was because we were moving to a building that had limited parking but the cost of petrol is ridiculous and it takes me no longer to cycle in than it did to drive in. I also arrive de-stressed and ready for the day ahead!
Have you got any funny or interesting bike commuting stories or experiences to share?
Not really a commuting story but on Christmas Day I cycled to my parents house for dinner. My wife followed in her car with our daughter and the presents. When she arrived she was in tears saying “I’ve ruined Christmas!” It transpired that she had left my change of clothes at home so I had to tuck into my turkey in my new Team Sky Jersey and Shorts.
What’s your killer commuting tip?
Toolkit, Puncture Repair Kit, Spare Inner Tube. Only a fool travels without these inexpensive items.
Send us your Commuter Profile!
We want to know about your commuting experiences; how far you go, why you choose to ride, your killer tips and your commuter grumbles. Download, complete and email back your commuter profile to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell your story. Feel free to include a photograph/photographs of you and your trusty commuting bike!