Phil commutes to his workplace at the RNIB every day and is spoilt for choice in terms of commuting bikes. Whether he takes his MTB or his road bike, he enjoys saving money, burning less oil and eating more food!
Name: Phil Rabbitt
Tell us about your commuting rig:
I have a choice! Boardman MTB pro for fun and rough weather or if I fancy a diversion across the country on the way home. I also have an Edinburgh Cycles Courier with disc brakes. Excellent road bike; not as comfortable and fun as my MTB, but fast! I remain highly visible regardless of the conditions with reflective vests and Cat Eye lights. I also have a full set of waterproof panniers.
What’s your commute like?
4 miles each way. I used to cycle 8 miles each which was a lovely commute through country parks. I now have one long steep hill which makes the legs ache somewhat first thing in the morning, but then mainly flat thereafter. Because work is at a higher altitude than home, going home is easy!
How many days a week do you commute by bike?
Every day Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter except when it's physically impossible or dangerous due to extreme weather. I do have a car, but normally only use that for big shopping trips and taking my wife and children somewhere. My philosophy is that cars are meant for convenience and not to be depended upon.
What do you enjoy the most about bike commuting?
Feeling invigorated and refreshed when I get to work, and knowing I have saved another few quid in petrol after each day.
What’s your least favourite thing about commuting by bike?
Some other road users, and not just cars. Some car drivers are dangerous (as any road users can be), but many do however seem to respect cyclist's vulnerability. But I am mainly annoyed by the amount of cyclists who don't obey the rules and ride after dark without lights and visible clothing. This give the rest of the cycling community a bad name. In fact, it gives some car drivers the excuses they need to always blame the cyclist!
What are your main reasons to commute by bike?
Definitely to save money. It's a lot cheaper than using a car. My aim is also to do my bit to reduce our dependency and demand for international oil and the conflict it causes. I know there's more to it than just car usage, but it's a start. Cycling every day also means I can eat more!
Have you got any funny or interesting bike commuting stories or experiences to share?
One foggy night, I strayed off a cycle path into a ditch. The visibility was that bad that cycling just 3-4 miles an hour, I still failed to see the ditch before I was upside-down in it! Thankfully I was not hurt though.
What’s your killer commuting tip?
Allow for everybody else's mistakes and carelessness even if you're not at fault. If they are a car, lorry or motorcyclist, it may not be your fault, but you are guaranteed to come off worse.
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!