Above: A helmet (with slick helmet mounted LED hack) hangs off the bars in the British Cycling bike store. A clever trick to keep yourself protected. Andy is keen to point out the benefits of British Cycling membership protection too.
Meet Andy, British Cycling Coach and Education Officer, who introduces his stable of commuting bikes, his love for dog owners, mobile phone toting drivers and Froglegs, as well as highlighting the importance of matching one's bike with one's facial hair.
Name: Andy Kirkland
Job Title: Coach and Education Officer
Tell us about your commuting rig:
Ohhh, it depends on the weather or if I’m going into town after work, but I’ll generally ride my Giant TCX cross bike fitted with a rack and my old man Carradice panniers. I’ve got an Ultegra-105 mix on the bike, bombproof wheels fitted with Continental 4 Sseason 28mm tyres. If I don’t need to stop, the bike handles amazingly but the froglegs brakes are its limiting factor. If I’m going into town after work, I’ll use my amazing Brompton. It’s far more fun and compliments my beard far more than my Di2 superbike.
What’s your commute like?
It’s a 36km round trip. It’s all uphill from my house, with a 2km climb to start off with followed by a 5km descent and then mainly flat for the rest of the way. Going home is tougher and I’ll commonly add another 5-20km by going the long way in the summer. The roads aren’t too bad although there are a few dodgy bottlenecks!
How many days a week do you commute by bike?
Three to five days a week.
What do you enjoy the most about bike commuting?
Not being enclosed in a train or car. Just the freedom of being on my bike.
What’s your least favourite thing about commuting by bike?
Drivers talking on mobile phones and my froglegs in the rain!
What are your main reasons to commute by bike?
Ehhh…. It’s cheaper, nearly as quick as the train or car, I like to eat cake so it keeps me trim(ish), I like fresh air and bike riding is just part of me. It’s a no-brainer really!.
Have you got any funny or interesting bike commuting stories or experiences to share?
A man holding a brolly with a fierce dog walked in front of me nearly knocking me off. I called him a silly person and he then set his dog on me! Have you ever seen the film American Flyers?
What’s your killer commuting tip?
Be polite and considerate to drivers and don’t blatantly break the rules of the road. Being Mr Angry and being abusive to motorists serves no purpose!
How does your British Cycling membership support your bike commuting?
The insurance and knowing that the legal team are experts in helping me if I’m in an accident.
Send us your Commuter Profiles!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and tell your story. Feel free to include a photograph/photographs of you and your trusty commuting bike!