Spring is here and there is no better time to commute to work by bicycle. Here is our checklist which includes a few practical tips and some deeper ideas about mindset!
* Avoid flared trousers - or skirts for that matter! But if you cannot resist, stationery can come to the rescue! Raid the office stationery cupboard for a couple of bulldog clips to hold up your flares and keep them in your pannier bag. The more leg freedom you have the better. The ideal commute is around 30 minutes, you don't really need to work up a sweat. I would always just wear my regular clothes which saves me time and space changing.
* Use a pannier bag, ditch the backpack - you will have much less chance of turning up with a sweaty back. Not having something on your back also gives you much more body freedom to turn around, check your blind spot, or chat up the cyclist next to you.
* Use Google maps to find a good cycle route. Don't choose the fastest route, choose the most enjoyable.
* Mix up your route, most accidents happen when the rider becomes too relaxed with the route... the mind wanders. So try different routes and be adventurous. The goal shouldn't be to beat your time, your goal should be to either unwind after a long day at work, OR to be inspired for the day ahead.
* Give yourself lots of time so you can take it easy, and so you don't have to worry about the time, rush and therefore sweat. Don't time yourself. Maybe even stop for a coffee somewhere, you're already getting exercise on your commute so you can eat that extra cinnamon bun guilt free :)
* Don't listen to music, this is not just a safety tip. I love when people have open air speakers and there is one opera singer who practices on his commute from Hackney. Whatever keeps you connected to your environment is the best way to benefit from commuting by bicycle.
We would love to hear from you with your tips. What kind of commuter cyclist are you?
* Enjoy your commute and make it a part of the day rather than just a mode of transport.
* Give yourself more time than you need
* Flirt to be safe! look at drivers and other cyclists - eye contact, eye contact, eye contact!
Plan your route and mix it up.
This was written by Jacqui Ma, founder and designer of Goodordering, east london accessories company and daily commuter cyclist.