Cycling 10: Adrian of Adrian Fitch’s Random Ramblings

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?

I always wear a helmet when commuting. I know it won’t save my
life in a serious accident, I just want it to prevent a nasty bump in a
minor one.

Cycle lane or no cycle lane?

In general I detest cycle lanes when commuting. They’re great
when I’m new to an area but the roads tend not to be as well maintained
as main roads and you’re constantly having to zig zag as the route
meanders through a warren of back streets.

Are you a member of any cycling organisations/clubs? If so, which ones?

 
I’m a member of the CTC as I enjoy touring holidays and they
have third party insurance. How many cycle commuters don’t have
insurance?

What would you say to convince someone who is considering commuting by bicycle to get on board their bike?

 
Cycling to work is good for you. It’s cheaper than going the
gym, it’s usually quicker than public transport plus you arrive alert
and ready to get stuck in.
 
Adrian Fitch, 34, was born in South Africa, grew up in
Australia and has been in the UK for nearly seven years. He lives in
south London and work as
an analyst at a national radio station. His blog is at http://adrianfitch.wordpress.com/
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