Wow, I just realised a year has passed since I last posted on this page! I am still Cycle Commuting (sort of) so here’s a recent photograph as evidence.

Bathgate Sunrise

Covid-19 has changed the world in this time and my daily routine is now nothing like it used to be. Like many people my job was made remote access so I have been working from home since April 2020, and there is no end date for this arrangement. In fact, our company has put in place systems for long term remote workers, with desk bookings available if we need to go into the office. For family life and flexibility this has enormous benefits, but from a cycle commuting perspective the potential loss is huge.

Previously I would wake up in the morning, put my cycling gear on, eat some weetabix, then cycle to work…

Now I wake up in the morning, put my cycling gear on, eat some weetabix, then cycle to…

Commuting in Circles

Circle Selfie

Yes, the start of my day is not actually that different now that I think about it. Instead of leaving my house and arriving at the office 18 miles away, I now leave my house and arrive back at my house just before starting work. Just like my work life is now more flexible, my commute is now similarly flexible. I can adjust the distance depending how much time I have or vary the route depending on weather conditions or boredom factor.

Boredom factor is one aspect that I do sometimes struggle with. I have now exhausted most of the local roads so there is not always much new to see. However, the wonderful app tells me I have only covered 30% of my council area (West Lothian), so I really must try and improve on this!

Broxburn Viaduct

It’s strange looking back, as I would never say I got bored of commuting to and from the office in the same way. Perhaps it was the change in end location that made the difference, or the interaction with colleagues at work and family back home.

If anyone has any suggestions for me on how to keep it fresh I’d love to hear them!

The new morning routine is one I aim to continue as long as possible. It’s always such a boost to the mind and body to spend some time in the fresh air getting the blood pumping. Also making that connection with nature has enormous benefits for your well-being. I think I have only missed 2 or 3 mornings when feeling too exhausted or busy at work.

Skate Park Circles

Remote Commuting

Another massive benefit for me of remote working was being able to take my laptop with me during our summer holidays. As we do most summers, we visited family in the wonderful Outer Hebrides.

I didn’t actually work during the holiday, but I did extend my time away from home for an extra 2 weeks by working remotely from my parents dining room. This worked seamlessly and I am grateful to my boss and company for allowing it, as well as my parents for looking after us for the extended time of course!

As well as taking my laptop, I also made sure to take some bikes with me. This meant I was able to continue the remote commuting from a new remote location. Anyone who has ever cycled through the Outer Hebrides will likely tell you the same, there is no place quite like it! The scenes are just spectacular and you never need to travel far to stumble across another stunning beach. You will also be surprised to note how good the road surfaces are in comparison to many on the UK mainland. Here is a selection of some shots from my rides:

I mostly did road tours (as is my normal discipline), but we also took a couple of mountain bikes, so went out with one of my boys on some rides with those. There are some great trails through the castle grounds in the main town of Stornoway for anyone who might be heading that way. These are highly recommended, especially by my son, even though he did get up close and personal with some bushes and came back with grazed knees more than once!

Bike Shop Rescue

Half way through our time away my main bike was put out of action as the rear tyre wore all the way through the rubber. 

4000 miles

Thankfully I found a great repair shop who sorted me out in no time. Unfortunately the only road tyres they had in stock were too thick for my frame, but they took a partially used one off an old bike and gave it to me for free (only charging the fitting fee). Super service from Bespokebicycles!

Cycle Commuting

If you love cycle commuting as much as I do, please share your story with me at the Member’s Story page for a chance to feature in a future post!

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