Dawn Rahman works for British Cycling as a Recreation Manager in the West Midlands and enjoys a largely traffic-free bike/rail journey into the centre of Birmingham. Dawn has been car-free for 17 years and loves the fresh air and independence that bike commuting brings.
Name: Dawn Rahman
Job Title: Recreation Manager – West Midlands
Tell us about your commuting rig:
Black and White Specialized Dolce road bike with drop handlebars and frame fitted to allow pannier use. Four years old and well used – which shows from the numerous chips on the paintwork!
What’s your commute like?
Thanks to the wonderful Sustrans I now have four of my five mile commute to Tile Hill Station along a traffic–free disused railway which goes through the gorgeous Warwickshire countryside. This has recently been complemented by a new pedestrian/cyclist bridge which has linked two existing cycle routes and now means I bypass a very busy A road and can literally cycle from my front doorstep through a nature reserve and fields until I join a quiet road for about a mile to the train station.
How many days a week do you commute by bike?
As a regional manager I’m primarily home based but go into Birmingham about three times a week for meetings. So I cycle from home to Tile Hill station before doing the last 20 miles by train.
What do you enjoy the most about bike commuting?
Fresh air and being in control of my own journey. No traffic jams or being delayed (unless I puncture)
What’s your least favourite thing about commuting by bike?
When the clocks go back and having to cycle home in the dark.
What are your main reasons to commute by bike?
Lots of reasons – it’s fun and good for me plus I made a conscious decision not to drive and haven’t done so for 17 years (!) although I’m quite happy taking lifts #hypocrite. So the only other way to get to the station is by bus, and a) it’s expensive; b) it takes ages and c) it’s dull in comparison with being on the bike.
Have you got any funny or interesting bike commuting stories or experiences to share?
In a previous commute, I once had a guy cycle five miles alongside me asking for my number! Very bizarre. I kept trying to cycle off but as I am law abiding cyclist he kept catching up with me at every red light. In the end I managed to get away and although I never gave him my number and it was a bit creepy at the time I can laugh about it now!
What’s your killer commuting tip?
Be prepared...it never ceases to amaze me how people commute without essentials such as spare inner tube, tyre levers etc. Oh and carry those small bottles of antiseptic spray – always handy if you have to use aforementioned equipment to fix a puncture. Saves having to turn up at meetings covered in dirt and grime!
How does your British Cycling membership support your bike commuting?
It’s all about the discounts. A girl can never have enough cycle clothing, bike bling, accessories etc! Oh and it’s good to know that we’ve got back up if anything (cross fingers it never does) happens out on the road.
Send us your Commuter Profile!
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!