British Cycling's Recreational Operational Support Manager Nick Chamberlin swapped a quiet rural commute for a busy urban blast into Manchester. Despite the change, non-car-driving Nick still loves the independence that his bike brings and the £10 per day saving on rail fare.
Name: Nick Chamberlin
Job Title: Recreation Operational Support Manager
Tell us about your commuting rig (don’t be afraid to get geeky):
Cannondale Bad Boy 26-inch wheels and mud-guards, hydraulic disk brakes and Specialized Armadillo tyres. Heavy bike but bomb proof and only one puncture in 12 months.
What’s your commute like (how long, hilly, flat, on road, off-road both)?
15 miles each way, mostly on the A6 into Manchester so busy roads for most of it but as long as I am on the road by 6.45am it is ok. For a busy route it is ok to ride it demands total concentration and is not what I would deem pleasant but it is doable and much better than the train.
How many days a week do you commute by bike?
Everyday unless I need to get the train elsewhere for work.
What do you enjoy the most about bike commuting?
Definitely the independence, I don’t drive so riding is the only way I can be in charge of my own time table.
What’s your least favourite thing about commuting by bike?
Busy city roads and the need to be 100% switched on all the time, I used to have a lovely quiet rural commute in a previous job and it was much nicer.
What are your main reasons to commute by bike? (e.g. to keep fit, to save money, etc)
The best possible way to fit exercise in to a busy week and avoid £10 a day train fare.
Have you got any funny or interesting bike commuting stories or experiences to share?
Commuting by bike is about meeting other riders on the road, always make the effort to say hi to anyone you pull up alongside at the lights. I have lost count of the number of times I get chatting and get to hear from other experiences, real shared camaraderie.
What’s your killer commuting tip?
Prepare the night before, lay out your kit pack your bag, clean and check your bike, charge your lights. There is nothing worse than getting up in the dark and trying to get prepared and always leave a little early traffic conditions, punctures and most of all fatigue can add to a journey and rushing always increases risk especially on busy roads.
How does your British Cycling membership support your bike commuting?
I recommend Gold membership to anyone who commutes by bike, the personal accident insurance and legal advice is second to none and so important as piece of mind for family.
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!