Above: Posh light and blingy bar tape on one British Cycling staffer's bike - Alison likes that 10% member discount at Halfords, great for saving money on essential commuting kit, blingy or otherwise.
Meet Alison Johnson, one of British Cycling's commuting stalwarts. Alison works in logistics in the cut and thrust of the GB Cycling Team office, so finds solace in nature on her 16 mile commute, sharing her journey with herons, fish and moles!
Name: Alison Johnson
Job Title: Logistics
Tell us about your commuting rig:
Trek posh hybrid 8 years old, wide gel saddle, mudguard on the back and back rack for pannier. This year upgrade to Schwalbe Marathon tyres in the hope to minimise punctures in the Manchester rain. It doesn’t go down steps so well though, as the solid suspension rattled the back light to death (you’re never too old to learn it seems).
What’s your commute like?
8 miles in, 8 miles back. All of it on the road because the tow path in the morning has too many irritable fishermen and on the way home I don’t like kicking (OK, smiling) my way through groups of pot smoking teenagers. Sometimes I go through the city centre for kicks, others I meander around the north of the city.
How many days a week do you commute by bike?
Hahahaha. We should talk how many days a month. Over the summer 2 or 3 days a week, over the winter … well, that’s yet to happen. Plan / daydream is to keep it going at least once a week over the winter months
What do you enjoy the most about bike commuting?
Going faster than the traffic, being able to eat chocolate and not put on weight.
What’s your least favourite thing about commuting by bike?
Car drivers in honesty. 99% are fine, but a downer is put on commuting by those who aren’t so fine. It’s an unusual journey if I manage it without an incident of some kind. There’s always someone turning left across me or trying to nip across me right turning from opposite traffic while I’m going straight on. Not often deliberate but sometimes you do wonder.
What are your main reasons to commute by bike?
For an old burd it does keep me fit and slim, and the smugness opportunity is too much to miss.
Have you got any funny or interesting bike commuting stories or experiences to share?
I love that in city centre Manchester I can see herons fly up, fish jump (believe it or not), and once saw a mole trundling off into the dark.
What’s your killer commuting tip?
Killer tip is to wear pink, baby pink or electric pink, it doesn’t matter which, cars give you more space.
How does your British Cycling membership support your bike commuting?
10% off Halfords lights and locks. I now have some hefty security. Yeah yeah and the Wiggle deal got me a good deal on the Schwalbe tyres!
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!