Adrian Fitch is a fellow London cyclist who commutes to work. His blog, Adrian Fitch's Random Ramblings, is billed as "a bit about cycling, a bit about genealogy, a bit about radio but mostly a lot about nothing at all". Here are his responses to my 10 questions about commuter cycling...
How long have you been commuting by bicycle, and what made you decide to do it?
I've been commuting regularly since last spring. The main reason I started was to get healthy. I had tried going to the gym but struggled to find the time and motivation.
Can you give a brief description of your route?
My ride is around 10 miles, takes about 45 minutes and is on fairly good roads. Most of the route has bus lanes so I can keep out of the traffic. I also try and miss the particularly heavy commuting times by leaving home by 7.30am and getting away from work after 6.30pm.
What's the best thing about commuting by bicycle?
The best thing about commuting by bike for me is the autonomy or control that I feel I've regained. I look at the half-asleep masses passively herding onto buses or into tube stations and reaffirm that I will avoid public transport whenever possible.
And the worst?
The only downside for me is I can't read during my commute anymore, but the trade off is I can listen to the radio. I work at a radio station and I used to miss a huge chunk of our breakfast show while I was on the tube.
What sort of bike do you ride?
I ride a basic 24-speed hybrid. It has three times as many gears as I need for commuting but I like the upright riding position, even if it is a bit slow and heavy.
What's your favourite piece of cycling kit/clothing/gadget?
My favourite kit are my Schwable Marathon Plus tyres. They feel a little slow and sluggish but there is nothing that frustrates me more than a puncture on my way to work. I've had the tyres on for nearly 1,000 miles and only had a tube blow once but no punctures. I routinely dig quite large shards of glass out of the tread but none have made their way through to the tube yet.
Helmet or no helmet?
Are you a member of any cycling organisations/clubs? If so, which ones?
What would you say to convince someone who is considering commuting by bicycle to get on board their bike?