Your commuter profiles - Deborah Longman


Meet British Cycling member and NHS employee Deborah, who is wise to the many health benefits of cycling to work and who can't wait to get a folding bike to further enhance her commuting possibilities.

Name: Deborah Longman

Workplace: NHS in South Wales

Tell us about your commuting rig: I have a Giant sports hybrid however I have just ordered a Brompton folding bike to allow for more commuting possibilities!

What’s your commute like? I work out of three offices, one 10 miles from home... This is the one I commute by bike to. I live at the top of a two-mile hill, so the trip to work is faster and easier. About six miles of the commute is cycle paths, so I avoid motorists for over half of the journey. It takes just under an hour there and just over an hour back with the hill to contend with but that's a decent 20 mile trip on days I can commute by bike.

The other offices I work at are 25 and 40 miles away, however, now that I am getting a folding bike, I'm planning on cycling the two miles to the train station, getting the train, and then cycling at the other end!

How many days a week do you commute by bike? It varies on how many times I work in my local office, generally once or twice a week, but once my Brompton arrives there will be no stopping me!

What do you enjoy the most about bike commuting? I just love how you have that time with your thoughts. It really does set me up for the day and I arrive at work feeling mentally prepared, energised and ready for the day ahead.

The added advantage is getting your exercise done as part of what would otherwise be a very dull journey stuck in traffic!

"I am a diabetic, so exercise plays a very vital part in keeping my blood sugars under control."

Deborah on one of the many health benefits of bike commuting.

What’s your least favourite thing about commuting by bike? Carrying my laptop on my back.

What are your main reasons to commute by bike? I am a diabetic, so exercise plays a very vital part in keeping my blood sugars under control.

Also with the pollution in major cities, it's nice to feel you are reducing your own carbon footprint. I have a young nephew and niece and I like to think that my cycling is saving the planet for them.

Also, saving money is great! I needed new brakes on my car, they were over £300, my husband replaced the brakes on my bike for under a tenner. Bargain!

Have you got any funny or interesting bike commuting stories or experiences to share? I had a really terrifying experience a year ago when I was clipped by a learner driver on a quiet road. Thankfully I was battered and bruised but OK. The most important thing to me was to get back on my bike as soon as possible. It would have been easy to have been disheartened, but I felt that what I was achieving through cycling with my own health far outweighed the risks.

I turn 40 in January and due to my bike fitness I will be cycling in the Nevada desert with my husband as a birthday holiday and treat. I can't wait to see the different scenery. You see much more when you cycle than when in a car.

What’s your killer commuting tip? Have a well stocked drawer in the office with supplies. My drawer has spare clothes and extra socks and shoes! It also has a towel and as I don't have a shower at work, it also has deodorant wipes, baby wipes, and body spray.

Are you a British Cycling Member? If so how does your British Cycling membership support your bike commuting? I am a member of British Cycling and I find the tips on the website are excellent. When I started commuting to work a year ago, I found the pages helpful and informative, especially as winter was starting and the winter tips were excellent.

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