We are British Cycling - we are bike commuters - Neil Atkinson

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British Cycling Recreation Education Manager Neil Atkinson has swapped a 76 mile Lake District commute for a quick 6 mile blast through the city of Manchester. A big change for Neil, who's had to run a marathon with his bike before after a frozen freewheel. However, both commutes give Neil what every cyclist craves - freedom.


DSC_0115Name: Neil Atkinson

Job Title: Recreation Education Manager

Tell us about your commuting rig: It is a single speed city bike , red wheels, yellow frame, silver forks, short riser bars and not forgetting the essential bell. I call it ‘Juan Gear’

What’s your commute like? Currently the commute is only 6 miles, but it is in Manchester City centre. So it’s all on road, flat and busy. It is a big difference to my previous commute which was 76 mile round trip in the Lake District.

How many days a week do you commute by bike? Three days a week, depending on where I am working.

What do you enjoy the most about bike commuting? ‘Freedom’!! I also like trying to beat the cars from the traffic lights to the next set.

What’s your least favourite thing about commuting by bike? Buses! I When they pull over to collect or drop off passengers, I overtake them. However, whilst doing this they drive off leaving me in the middle of traffic.

What are your main reasons to commute by bike? Simple - I love cycling, it gives me time for ‘me’.

Have you got any funny or interesting bike commuting stories or experiences to share? I used to commute 76 mile round trip in the Lake District, however the weather was so cold one night coming home my free wheel became frozen and ended up running just under a marathon to get home.

What’s your killer commuting tip? Organise your cycling clothing the night before and do not look out of the window at the weather until you are ready to set off.


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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 editor@britishcycling.org.uk and tell your story. Feel free to include a photograph/photographs of you and your trusty commuting bike!

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