Cycle to Work Day – The UK’s biggest cycle commute

Why not switch up your daily commute and reap the benefits of cycling to work? Whether you’ve not ridden a bike in years or have never cycled at all, Cycle to Work Day day is all about giving it a go. The advantages of riding to work are many and well documented; you save money, avoid frustrating traffic jams, improve your physical and mental wellbeing and reduce your carbon footprint. What’s not to love? We asked some of our colleagues to share why they choose to commute to work by bike.

Cycle to work day is all about promoting the benefits of the cycle commute. To help provide some inspiration we asked this bunch of handsome chaps to share why it is that they choose to ditch the car and cycle to work with less stress.

Chris Carter – Bike Product Specialist

Why do you commute?

I commute primarily to save money (compared to using the car) and to keep fit. I also find that it makes me more productive at work. My brain has ‘woken up’ and I find it easier to focus. It also provides me with the opportunity to de-stress and clear my head after a long or stressful day. I can’t do this when driving, and in fact, usually arrive home more stressed due to the traffic!

What do you ride?

It’s a very old Ribble! It was an old steel frame from Ribble’s old warehouse and I built it up using parts from other bikes that I owned. I had some carbon wheels and a few other carbon bits to save weight. I use it for commuting as it is comfortable, reliable and fast (if I need it to be). It’s also relatively robust whilst being quite lightweight. I can also fit mudguards if I need to! It just so happens to be my only bike at the moment!

Do you have any top commuting tips to share?

My top tips are

  • Check your bike a couple of days before you intend to use it. Then you have time to fix it if anything’s wrong.
  • Try to plan a route that avoids busy roads where possible. Even if it is a mile or two longer, it not only helps you to have a less stressful ride (less danger). You will also potentially be less likely to get a puncture (lee road debris) and if you do need to stop for any reason, it’s probably easier on quieter roads or cyclepaths.

Joe Evans – After Sales Account Manager

Why do you commute?

First and foremost, it’s my main mode of transport to get to work. But more importantly, I love being out on my bike. I feel much more relaxed when I get to work and my mood is energised when I ride to work. It also costs way less and I’m doing my bit for the environment too!

What do you ride?

My commuting bike is a Ribble Steel 525 (the A6 crusher), a previous edition of Ribble’s steel bike range. My best bike is also a previous generation Ribble R872.

Do you have any top commuting tips to share?

Just enjoy the commute and embrace being on your bike. Also, don’t get involved in a race to work ( unless you’re late or James Holloway is on your tail).

James Holloway – Virtual Mechanic and Joe’s nemesis!

Why do you commute?

“Wannabe racer/busy Dad”. Tying to fit in enough training time around work and busy family life can be hard sometimes. This is why I would definitely recommend commuting by bike to anyone looking to juggle both. I can’t always guarantee that I will get the opportunity to get a ride in at the weekend. So, being able to count on a solid block of riding Monday to Friday is invaluable. With prior planning, each leg of the commute can be structured and contain the necessary efforts or recovery to keep seeing improvements. However, sometimes when the legs are feeling good, all plans go out of the window in a bid to chase KOM’s.

What do you ride?

I ride my trusty steel Ribble 525, a predecessor to the current Endurance 725. It’s a bit of a jumble of parts really, a mix of Ultegra and 105. With some oversized ceramic jockey wheels thrown in for good measure. It will usually be spotted with a Mavic Ksyrium wheelset, lightweight and bombproof through all four seasons. Occasionally a single deeper section wheel is thrown on – because….. AERO!

Do you have any top commuting tips to share?
  • Ditch the backpack – make the bike do the heavy lifting. I try to fit most of what I need to carry in a frame bag or seat pack. This leaves your back unburdened, unrestricted, and you will stay cooler for longer when things get spicy!
  • The likelihood is that if you’re riding at rush hour times you will be held up in traffic. Plan the longer efforts either side of these sections so that they can hopefully go uninterrupted. On the other hand, stop-start traffic is great for overgeared sprints…
  • Listen to your body for when to give it beans and when to take it easy. The chances are, you’re not going to be able to smash it to work and then back home all the time. Consider adding in a few easy spins in the office to keep yourself from burning out. These can be good for taking in the scenery that you miss when your heads down. Or try out a few alternative routes.
  • Speaking of beans – Fun Fact! A can of beans fits perfectly in the bottle cage.
  • Fuelling is not to be overlooked! Whatever you are going to save in petrol – you will spend on fuelling yourself! Eat, eat, eat! The last thing you want is an energy crash with miles left to ride.

Bradley Woodruffe – Bike mechanic and endurance rider

So Bradley, why do you commute by bike?

There are many reasons why I commute to work by bike, fundamentally just because it’s a great habit. The hardest part about staying consistent with riding is just getting out of the door. So by commuting that’s a given. After that, it’s super-easy once you’re out to do a bit extra.

What do you ride?

My one and only bike is a CustomColour Ribble CGR Ti which has been handpainted by the guys in the spray shop. It’s specced with Shimano GRX Di2 1×11 speed and a full LEVEL finishing kit. To ride on any terrain I have two sets of wheels. For road riding, I use a LEVEL Carbon Gravel wheelset fitted with Continental GP5000TL 32mm tyres. For off-road, I use a set of Hope TwentyFive’s with Panaracer Gravel Kings. With this combo and a swap between 42T and 38T chainrings, I use the bike for anything from commuting to big gravel missions, local time trials and ultra-endurance bikepacking events.

Do you have any top commuting tips to share?

It can get boring riding the same route over and over again. Get out and explore new roads and trails!

George Hodgkinson – Cycle Mechanic

Why do you commute by bike?

As a keen cyclist and racer, it’s an excellent way to build base fitness and train hard within a short space of time. Which is great when free time is limited during the week. However, the cost is also a massive factor to consider when commuting. In my experience, cycling to work is often the cheapest way to commute on a daily basis.

What bike do you ride?

A Ribble CGR Ti, fitted with Shimano’s GRX 1x groupset, a Hope chainset and Zipp 303 wheels with Schwalbe G-One tyres. A perfect balance of speed, comfort, and reliability.

Do you have any top commuting tips to share?

The best bike for commuting is the one that you currently own. However, if you are looking for a dedicated bike or intend to ride all year round, you will want something that is long-lasting and enjoyable in all weathers. So, disc brakes are advisable. Similarly, a moderate to high tyre clearance for comfort and grip in adverse riding conditions, so even in winter you can still get out and enjoy yourself on the ride to work.

Alex Gillibrand – Cycle Mechanic

Why do you commute?

I commute because I love cycling. There’s no better way to wake up in the morning or cool down after I finish than going out and spinning your legs in the hills for a few miles.

What do you ride?

My *Ribble Adventure Ti, a true conquer everything that I can throw at it bike.

*The Adventure Ti has now been replaced by the Gravel Ti.

Do you have any top commuting tips to share?

Frame bags are your best friend. Ditching the backpack feels great, like going commando! More freedom of movement, cooler, and you’ll arrive at work without a sweat patch on your back! Pack your bike, not your body.

For all of you who are giving cycle to work day a go, well done and we hope you enjoy the experience. It’s not only the employee who benefits either. Cycling to work leaves you feeling wide awake and energised to face the challenges of the day ahead.

Do you want to give riding to work a go, but don’t have the right sort of bike for it? Check out our top recommended bikes for year-round riding, on the road or off it.

We don’t just build bikes, we live and breathe them. Find out which models in our range came out on top in the cycling press’ Bike of the Year awards here.

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