We are British Cycling - we are bike commuters - Tom Bertenshaw


British Cycling member Tom from Bristol uses his commute as time trial recovery training.

Name: Tom Bertenshaw

Workplace: National Composites Centre, Emersons Green

Tell us about your commuting rig: It is a 20 yr old Saracen Crosstrax, which has a rusted-in seatpost and worn rear dropouts. But it works great and it has sentimental value – I wouldn’t get rid of it! I also have my Van Nicholas Ti road race bike which I sometimes use when the weather is ok.

What’s your commute like? I have a 6 mile commute across Bristol which is a little undulating, except the last 100m on the way home is about 20%!

How many days a week do you commute by bike? I commute 4-5 days a week. This is really to supplement my training for road Time Trials, where I incorporate it into my training as recovery training, so I take it pretty easy on my way to and from work.

What do you enjoy the most about bike commuting? Rushing down the hill near where I live every morning.

What’s your least favourite thing about commuting by bike? Cycling when it is snowing heavily – it is horrible! You can’t really see where you are going and when it hits your face it melts, which is far worse than cold rain.

What are your main reasons to commute by bike? Well many reasons really - I commute by bicycle because it can be quicker! The ring road around Bristol can become completely solid during the rush hour. Furthermore I don’t have a car so I suppose you could say I save money on the upkeep, tax, petrol etc. Also, as I mentioned previously, it gives me a good level of recovery training built into my training!

"I commute by bicycle because it can be quicker! The ring road around Bristol can become completely solid during the rush hour."

British Cycling member and cycle commuter Tom Berkenshaw

Have you got any funny or interesting bike commuting stories or experiences to share? The most interesting/alarming thing I saw was a double decker bus that had driven far too close to the lower branches of a tree, and the entire top of the bus was peeled off like a tin can! I wasn’t there to witness it happening but as the road was closed, I walked along the pavement and saw the devastation. There were queues of traffic all over Bristol that morning.

What’s your killer commuting tip? Don’t trust your bag to be waterproof! I use a rubblesack to put spare clothes, laptop, notebook and other stuff in it, then fold and twist over the top. Then you can commute in any weather and have confidence your stuff will stay dry.

Are you a British Cycling Member? Yes.

If so how does your British Cycling membership support your bike commuting? When I lock my Van Nicolas Ti bike at work, the approved lock I have allows it to be fully insured. This insurance runs through British Cycling.

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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 editor@britishcycling.org.uk and tell your story. Feel free to include a photograph/photographs of you and your trusty commuting bike!

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