Your commuter profiles - Charles MacKinnon


Charles' bike commuting began as a simple way of saving money but he quickly discovered the many joys that bike commuting offers.

Name: Charles MacKinnon

Workplace: London

Tell us about your commuting rig: A black Brompton folding bike the basic model

What’s your commute like? Flat across Clapham Common, and then downhill to Battersea Park, and then across the Thames, and the slow climb past Buckingham Palace and up St James ( surprisingly steep!) to Piccadilly.

How many days a week do you commute by bike? I try to ride every day, but probably only manage three days a week

"Always look inside taxis to see if they might open their door unexpectedly, especially in traffic jams."

Charles' top bike commuting tip

What do you enjoy the most about bike commuting? The greatest joy is that for a few brief minutes I feel in command of my own destiny; pedal hard, pedal soft? Turn left, turn right? That is coupled with the sense of being more awake when I get to work, and also having shed the tensions of work when I get home.

What’s your least favourite thing about commuting by bike? My biggest gripe is cyclists who go through red lights, do not pay attention to traffic signals, cycle on the pavement and ride while listening to music with earphones.

Now, let me be clear, I have done all of these things at some time or another, but I try not to do them now. The reason is that the bad cyclist makes for bad car drivers, and many times their actions make it more dangerous for all the rest of us.

What are your main reasons to commute by bike? When I started it was a simple economic imperative; it cost less. Now it is much more to do with trying to maintain cardio fitness, coupled with the joy of a few moments of being alone.

What’s your killer commuting tip? Always look inside taxis to see if they might open their door unexpectedly, especially in traffic jams.

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