Meet British Cycling Member Ben who works at Glyndebourne Opera and commutes 24 miles a day through town and country. Ben often combines his love of music with his riding and can be regularly heard belting out a tune on the way to work.
Name: Ben Sedgwick
Workplace: Glyndebourne Opera
Tell us about your commuting rig: Cannondale CAAD8 purchased through Cyclescheme, Gatorskin tyres, just purchased a new Fizik Arione VS Saddle. I also have a Kona mountain bike I keep at work for getting straight out onto the South Downs when the mood takes me.
What’s your commute like? I have a 12 mile cycle each way through various major and minor roads, urban and countryside, firstly Brighton’s worst junctions - Seven Dials roundabout (currently being ‘improved’), down to Preston Circus and Vogue gyratory.
I then following Lewes road (also being ‘improved’ for cyclists) and usually find myself picking target cyclists ahead (mainly students) and trying to outpace everyone, which continues out to the University of Sussex and then leave them all behind to join the cycle path alongside the A27.
Uphill to Lewes prison and then down through the town to the Cuilfail roundabout. The final part is a steady climb up to Ringmer then onto the minor road and another steady climb up to the wind turbine followed by a short drop down into work
How many days a week do you commute by bike? I currently try to commute at least three days a week by bike, I can often finish work at 22.00 and have yet to do a night commute home but will be giving it a try this year. I’m trying to follow the British Cycling training plans and incorporate my commute into this, adjusting the route home for a longer or hillier ride.
"Working in the music industry I find that if I get into a steady cadence I start singing along to certain tunes in time with my pedal strokes"
Ben the cycling soprano
What do you enjoy the most about bike commuting? So many things. My best time so far has been 37 mins and I love that this is only 7 mins longer than it would take on average by car! I enjoy arriving at work smiling and refreshed, happy that I have spent some time in the fresh air doing something I enjoy rather than sitting in traffic in my car (although sometimes I’m so out of breath and sweaty from trying to better my time I think refreshed may not be the right word).
What’s your least favourite thing about commuting by bike? My route back home is westerly, and usually that means most of my rides home are into the wind! I’m not keen on one of my last sections of road as it gets very busy with cars and buses all fighting for space, although it trains you to be very road aware!
What are your main reasons to commute by bike? Cycling is a regular part of my weekly exercise plus it is better for both my pocket and it is environmentally better to not travel by car every day.
Have you got any funny or interesting bike commuting stories or experiences to share? Working in the music industry I find that if I get into a steady cadence I start singing along to certain tunes in time with my pedal strokes although these songs can become a little monotonous.. during the summer a useful distraction was to make up my own Tour de France style commentary as I cycled along.. all in my head of course!
What’s your killer commuting tip? Never underestimate the weather (but don’t forget that skin is waterproof!) and be prepared to fix a puncture at anytime.
Are you a British Cycling Member? If so how does your British Cycling membership support your bike commuting? Yes, it’s a great source of cycling knowledge, I’m using the British Cycling intermediate training plan and incorporating this into my commute.
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