Archive for the ‘commuting’ tag
I’m currently commuting most days by bike to Portsmouth and I’ve even been keeping it up in the snow and sub zero conditions! Until today that is, when sadly I had to abort.. it was just too dangerous. I plan to sort myself out some ice tyres for my mountain bike as soon as I can find somewhere with them in stock and then nothing will be able to stop me!
The commute is 10 miles each way, which I reckon is the perfect distance – long enough to provide some proper training/enjoyment/satisfaction but short enough that it doesn’t take much longer than driving. (and when there is traffic – it can be quicker!)
I’ve found my regular gear is very comfortable – I’m warm within a few minutes of riding. The only issue I have is that (despite wearing ski gloves) the tips of my fingers get painfully cold for about a third of the ride – usually from about 10 minutes in and then they warm up towards the end.
Here’s a short video of me riding in a variety of wintry conditions throughout the last week – just to prove I’m hardcore:
And here’s the route on EveryTrail – showing a very useful little cycle lane round the top of an industrial estate that allows you to cut out all of busy Havant and it’s roundabouts and lights!
See larger version at EveryTrail
This summer I’ve commuted a number of times by bike. It’s approx 20 miles each way into London so it took a while to decide it was a serious proposition and try it. I’m so glad I did – I always arrive at work feeling alert and it’s been great for my fitness and fun learning the ropes of London bike commuting as well.
Below are some notes that you might find helpful if you are considering commuting anywhere in an East/West direction in the region of Egham, Staines, Ashford, Feltham, Twickenham, Richmond, Putney, Battersea or Clapham.
Route finding Tips
To start with I simply used Google maps to give me walking directions from home to work. This route was about as direct as possible whilst avoiding motorways. Since then it has made the commute more interesting to try out variations. Some of these are mapped below, along with some notes which could be useful for anyone commuting from Egham/Windsor/Staines etc. towards central London south of the river.
Points of note
- The A30 and A308 are fast dual carriageways and are worth avoiding. The route round the back of Staines station through Ashford and crossing the A308 is the only way around these without a major detour. As an alternative the A308 does have a path alongside which though not a cycle path is ride-able, if bumpy on road tyres.
- The A316 route north of Richmond has cycle lanes of varying quality along it. This is a little slow but useable, safe and direct. The alternative is straight through Twickenham and Richmond centres.
- Twickenham town centre is actually quite pleasant as it has a big bus lane straight through in the London bound direction and isn’t too bad in the other direction either.
- Richmond town centre is inevitably slow negotiating the queueing traffic but you are through it soon enough.