British Cycling member Simon from Rochdale commutes 25 miles a day on his touring bike and enjoys the 'self satisfied inner glow' that is seemingly unique to cycling commuters.
Name: Simon Kerry
Workplace: Greater Manchester Police Force HQ
Tell us about your commuting rig: Revolution Country Explorer (drop handlebar touring bike), with one or two panniers depending on how much I have to take with me.
What’s your commute like? 25 mile round trip, all on road, from Rochdale. Nice downhill section at the beginning to get me started and apart from a couple of longish inclines, it’s relatively flat for the rest of the way in. Obviously, the home journey ends with a bit of a gruelling hill so it’s on to the granny ring and just keep plugging away.
How many days a week do you commute by bike? I’ve only really started commuting to this place of work since the beginning of June. I’ve managed four days each week so far. I’m intending to commute permanently, 5 days a week and hopefully carry that on into winter too
What do you enjoy the most about bike commuting? Sense of achievement, watching my cycle scheme bike miles increase, losing weight and saving money . I also get a self satisfied inner glow (read: crippling smugness) by beating the bus!
What’s your least favourite thing about commuting by bike? Strong winds and the general state of the roads.
What are your main reasons to commute by bike? Saving money primarily. But fitness and weight loss is a factor too, as I’m stuck behind a desk five days a week.
Have you got any funny or interesting bike commuting stories or experiences to share? Last week I was nearing my work, about two miles from central Manchester and there was a long tailback. It was obvious there had been an accident up ahead. As I was filtering past the line of standing traffic I noticed in the road up ahead a motorbike down and a dazed biker sitting on the pavement. It was then I noticed what he had hit ... it was a deer! Not sure if he was dazed from coming off, or just amazed how unlucky he was to find a deer in the middle of the road in Manchester!
What’s your killer commuting tip? Be assertive – you have every right to share the road. Be predictable – motorists don’t generally want to harm cyclists, so if they know what you’re doing they have a better chance of avoiding hitting you accidently. Be courteous – If the vehicle behind holds back from a dangerous manoeuvre I find a wave of recognition and thanks goes a long way in helping cyclist/motorist relations. Watch out for deers!
Are you a British Cycling Member? If so how does your British Cycling membership support your bike commuting? Yes. It’s nice to have the support of the organisation behind me in case things go wrong. The liability insurance may well end up being beneficial.
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