These days I don’t actually get in to the office all that often, so I really need to make a conscious effort in the act of remembering what to bring with me on the cycle commute. It used to be second nature and I would gather all my things with barely a thought given. Now I need to go over my mental checklist several times to convince myself that I have not forgotten anything crucial (clothes, food, ID, keys, wallet, phone, tools, etc.).

[Please let me know in the comments if you have ever forgotten anything important on your cycle commute.]

Of course some things are more important than others, and I could probably manage the odd day without a kit-kat or hair gel! My security pass is needed to get on site and also into most areas of the building. However, forgetting that is not the end of the world as we can get issued temporary ones at the security gate. Its inconvenient but not a disaster. I think I’ve had to do that about 5 times over the 10 years I’ve been working there.

Remembering Clothes

I was told by my colleague (who shall remain nameless) a few weeks ago that he forgot something important. Something that I am glad to say I have always managed to bring with me. Yes, he completed his cycle to work, showered, and then discovered that he didn’t pack any underpants… I can only imagine that would not have been the most comfortable of days for him!

There was one day quite early in my cycle commute days that I forgot to bring a change of top with me. There was nothing for it but to sit in my lycra jersey for the rest of the day. Thankfully it was only a half day and I don’t think it was too smelly at that point! 

Remembering to pack
Morning Packing
Remembering Clothes
Everywhere is Biking Distance

Keys / Padlock

My final mental checklist goes keys, phone, pass and I go over this a couple of times before leaving the house. I always make a special effort to pack my keys as they are one of the most important items. Not only to get me back into the house, but also to secure my bike at work.

My lock of choice is a big chunky D-lock from Abus which you can see in the photo below. This has been going strong for all 10 years of my commute to this office. As it is quite heavy I just leave it attached to the bike shelter when I’m not there. This works well for me as I don’t tend to leave my bike unattended anywhere else. 

It’s always a slight concern when I arrive that the mechanism inside it has maybe seized up. Thankfully this has not happened and it is still as reliable as ever. Occasionally I will squirt a bit of GT85 into it, although usually only every 2 or 3 years.


Remembering Shoes

Another thing that worries me sometimes is whether I have got shoes in the office to wear. It’s another thing I like to leave in the office as they take up a lot of space in a bag and add a fair bit of weight.

When I was there every day I would always remember where they were, but now there can sometimes be a big enough gap between attending that I forget both whether I left them in the first place and also where!

On my most recent visit I was pleased to find my casual shoes in the old cupboard, but less pleased to discover that they were stuck to the floor. Someone must have spilled some juice or something at some point and the floor was all sticky. Not the most pleasant thing to discover but I suppose it could have been worse.

There were a couple of occasions when I discovered I did not have any shoes with me. This was early on when I didn’t leave shoes in the office. I had to walk about for the full day in my cycling shoes, which is a great look with smart trousers!

Smelly old shoes


Leaving the office to come home I turn out of the bay with the bike locker, come around the building and am confronted with a blast from the predominantly westerly wind. After a while I would always be prepared for this although I must admit that on the most recent visit it did catch me out a little bit by surprise.

If it’s really strong and I have not fueled enough through the day I dip into an emergency pocket in my rucksack for some snacks. It delighted me to find an oat bar in there on this most recent trip, and I don’t think it was even out of date! Although I think I would have eaten anything at that point.

Remembering snacks

Remembering the Views

The one thing I never forget is how good it is to be out on the bike at the beginning and end of the day. Cruising along as the day begins with only the sun and my thoughts as company. Weaving my way through the city past queues of traffic. Or joining with fellow cycle commuters to pass the miles together. These are all aspects that I will never tire of and make it so worthwhile.

Also, how could you not love it when confronted by scenes like the below!

Remembering the views
Commuting Views

Don’t forget, comment below anything you have ever forgotten to bring with you and how you coped.

Also, check out my Top 10 Tips for help with things for remembering.

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