Commuting to work has so many positives, from the cost efficiency to the effort on our mental health and fitness. But, like everything in life, there are some struggles that we have to face at some point. In no particular order, here are our
Top 15 struggles that are all too real for the everyday commuter
1. The freak shower that no weather man reported
There is always one downpour that not even the most updated weather reporter seems to detect which leaves you caught off-guard in the wrong cycle clothing, drenched in water.
2. The insatiable hunger
The morning ride can induce an appetite within you that almost always requires a second breakfast at your desk. You find yourself suddenly spending most of your salary on Pret-a-Manger treats.
3. The chainring tattoo
There is the inevitable risk of that tell-tale slick of oil down your calf that always seems to time with your most important meeting.
4. The colleagues that call you crazy
You feel proud that you’ve spent the entire winter battling the elements on your work commute but everyone else in the office just calls you ‘crazy’. Secretly you think they’re the crazy ones for getting squashed in a train carriage every day.
5. The horror when you realise you’ve forgotten your pants
If you’ve opted for full Lycra that morning, there is a high possibility that sooner or later you will forget to pack a pair of pants to change into.
6. The worry that your bike is OK where you left it
Spreadsheets, emails, and important meetings are all peppered with distracting and worrisome thoughts on whether your bike is safe where you locked it up.
7. The passive-aggressive over-taking of others
Particularly during the summer months, an entire fleet of fair-weather cyclists take to the road to discover the fruits of the cycle commute. You find yourself trying to beat them off the lights only for them to catch up at the next set and pull in front of you. Tutting ensues.
8. The tears streaming down your face
As soon as that cold air hits your face, your eyes start to uncontrollably water, leaving tear-stained streaks down your cheeks. Especially inconvenient for mascara wearers.
9. The awkwardness of meeting your boss at the traffic lights
You’ve finally broken free from the office and you’re really looking forward to whizzing off on your bike into the sunset only to see that your boss has pulled alongside you at the lights and strikes up some awkward small talk.
10. The risk of being under-dressed
The regular commuter will often choose comfort and practicality over smartness which is fine in the context of the road but often leaves you feeling a little self-conscious in the board room.
11. The clip-clopping sound of the cleat through the office
Nothing tells people you’re late for work than when all of your colleagues are already dutifully sitting at their desks only to all look up as you bashfully make your way in full Lycra to the toilets.
12. The rage when another colleague has swiped the only bike spot
You’ve been cycling into you work since the day you signed the contract and have silently claimed rights to the limited in-office bike space only to one day find it occupied by a colleague on a conveniently sunny day.
13. The loss of feeling in your fingers
This is a particular risk in the winter when no glove is strong enough to shield your hands from the icy blow. This means typing is delayed for at least an hour.
14. The dilemma of going lifestyle or full lycra
Cycling to work is meant to minimise your stress levels, but there is still that tricky decision in the morning on whether to go full-sport mode or to adopt a lifestyle look that reduces the faff of changing in the office loos.
15. The dread of wet shoes on the ride home
You’ve been caught in a freak shower on the ride in and rather than disgust your colleagues by hanging your sodden shoes on the radiator, you let them fester in your bag until that dreaded hour when you have to put them back on for the ride home.