As much as I would love to ride my bike as my full time job I can't, but recently I swapped jobs and joined a new company so that I could ride my bike more. This reminded me of some of the important things to remember when you're a cyclist in an office environment and the funny things that tend to become part of life as a commuter. Here are three things I've learnt as a commuting cyclist.
You can't check your bag enough times
No matter whether you're the seasoned pro of the commuting world or a the newbie on their first ride to the office, you should always double check you've packed everything otherwise you're asking for a potentially awkward disaster. It all starts with a reasonably serene ride to the office without a care in the world, thinking you've packed all the essentials for the day. You arrive in the office, head to the showers and begin to unpack your bag only to discover you've left your trousers at home or your pants on the bed. What on earth do you do now? Panic!
If you're lucky, you can style out the smart-casual look and wear shirt and bibs around the office all day whilst everyone screams for security, or you have to fess up and quickly run out to the nearest shop to buy some spares. In one particular instance I managed to get my beetroot based lunch all over my white shirt and have to ride as fast as possible to get a new one before explaining to my client why I was almost as purple as my shirt.
You can never pack enough lunch
So you've managed not to have to sit topless at your desk for the day and begin to unpack the lunch you make at home; being an 'athlete' it's probably a salad with some snacks or a sandwich which every day you determine will be sufficient to keep you from getting hungry. However, the problems start at 9:30 with that first office coffee of the day. You get back to the desk and suddenly realise you're the worlds most hangry person and proceed to devour most of your lunch, only to instantly regret it knowing you now have to spend the bike money on more food.
Every day you tell yourself you'll get by on the lunch you take and every day you curse not taking anymore. Thankfully, I learnt my lesson slightly and when I finally got my own permanent desk I started building my own snack drawer full of food so that no matter how hungry I get I'm always able to nibble.
People think you're crazy
This one is important. Most of the time no one will notice that you've ridden to the office as you slink around from basement to shower each day. However, it's inevitable that one day someone will bump into you and it will suddenly come up in shocked conversation that you ride to the office each day or that you ride at all and probably spend all weekend on the bike. You'll need responses to questions such as:
- "You rode how far at the weekend?"
- 'You rode to work but you're not tired, how is that even possible?"
- You just at a family size bar of chocolate, why aren't you obese?"
Get your responses to the above nailed down as quick as possible because you're going to need them. In most cases people simply cannot fathom the horror that doing exercise in order to get to work.
Does anyone have any funny office stories or other things they've learnt whilst riding to work?