Commuting by bike can become a bit mundane, especially in a big city, but here are some ways you can make your journey more like the Tour de France

Ride behind someone with the same bike

Chris Froome and Richie Porte, Tour de France 2013, stage 14

Chris Froome and Richie Porte, Tour de France 2013, stage 14

It’s always nice to see someone else riding the same bike as you, especially if your steed is a from a relatively niche brand.

At the Tour de France everyone on the team rides the same bike, so make friends with your new bike buddy and sit on their wheel as far as you can.

Guaranteed to make you friends on your ride to work, this works especially well if there’s someone in your office on the same machine, so you can then beat them to the line every day when you reach the bike shed.

Spot people in team jerseys

Marcel Kittel in Etixx-QuickStep kit 2016

Marcel Kittel in Etixx-QuickStep kit 2016

Team jerseys get a bit of a bad press in amateur cycling. There’s nothing wrong with showing support for your favourite professional team, so why don’t you stick together with those who also want to?

If someone sees one person in a Team Sky jersey riding along they’ll likely think you’re some kind of amateur, but if there’s two or three of you then they’re more likely to think you’re actually a pro.

Even better is if your colleague who rides the same bike as you that you always outsprint to the office is wearing the same kit as you. It’s easy to ensure – just buy the same kit as them and wear it every day.

Ask a guy in a car to rub cream on your road rash

Maxime Bouet is treated by a race doctor on stage two of the 2015 Tour of Spain (Watson)

Maxime Bouet is treated by a race doctor on stage two of the 2015 Tour of Spain (Watson)

Even professionals suffer from crash wounds. Those hardy fellows manage to continue the Tour de France with half their skin hanging off, so why can’t you?

If you’ve suffered a bit of a tumble, simply take a pot of Sudocrem with you the next day and ask a friendly car driver to apply it while you hang on to his wing mirror.

Refuse to talk to your colleagues when you get to the office*

Jan Ullrich in the team bus at the 1997 Tour de France (Sunada)

Jan Ullrich in the team bus at the 1997 Tour de France (Sunada)

One of the hardest parts of being a journalist at the Tour de France is trying to interview people after a 200km stage in the searing heat across seven mountains.

To truly capture that spirit, simply dismount your bike and storm straight to your desk without any acknowledgement of the people wishing you a good morning.

Your colleagues will understand… you’ve had a tough time on the bike.

* Cycling Weekly accepts no responsibility if this gets you sacked

Wait for the guy you beat off the line

JAN ULLRICH WAITS FOR THE PELOTON IN THE 1997 TOUR DE FRANCE (Watson)

Jan Ullrich waits for the peloton in the 1997 Tour de France (Watson)

If someone beats you to the traffic lights, the natural thing to do is try to beat them when the lights turn green.

By all means be a little bit chuffed when you power away, but in the Tour de France it’s common courtesy to wait for the race leader when they suffer a mechanical.

And, of course, the person you beat will always blame a slipped chain or misfiring gear change for their poor acceleration.

Make your own time trials between traffic lights

Fabian Cancellara on stage one of the 2015 Tour de France

Fabian Cancellara on stage one of the 2015 Tour de France

While much of a commute can be about beating other cyclists, the Tour de France also has stages where you’re on your own – the time trials.

Pick two traffic lights and make it you against your machine. It’s best not to get into too good a time trial position, though, as you’ll probably not be able to stop when the lights turn red.

Time yourself and start a leaderboard in your office.

Create your own feed stop*

Kristijan Koren collects bottles on stage thirteen of the 2015 Tour de France (Watson)

Kristijan Koren collects bottles on stage thirteen of the 2015 Tour de France (Watson)

Early mornings are prime time for office workers to stumble to work with a cup of coffee in their hand and barely looking where they’re going.

If you time it right you can ride past one of these people and take the coffee out of their hands, like you would a bidon from a soigneur at the feed stop. Even better if they’ve also got a croissant.

*Cycling Weekly accepts no responsibility if this gets you beaten up and in no way encourages cyclists to steal from or antagonise pedestrians

Have abuse shouted at you

Fabio Aru attacks on stage nineteen of the 2015 Tour of Italy

Fabio Aru attacks on stage nineteen of the 2015 Tour of Italy

This goes hand in hand with the one above, although verbal abuse may be the least of your problems if you pilfer someone’s coffee.

To be fair, a lot of cyclists already experience having abuse hurled at them as they commute to work, but hopefully we’re a fair way off having urine thrown at us – a la Chris Froome at the Tour de France.

Start and finish your ride from a large bus

Tour of Britain - Stage Eight

You’re not a real rider until you’ve got your own bus. And we don’t mean a Richie Porte-style camper van.

We mean a full-blown Team Sky Death Star. Sometimes teams look to flog their old buses – like Sky did last year – so if you can get your hands on one you’ll really perfect the pro look.

Probably worth checking that your office carpark has room for a Death Star before you fork out £20,000 on one, but if you get to work before all your colleagues then you should be fine.

  • J1

    “There’s nothing wrong with showing support for your favourite professional team”

    What.

    “If someone sees one person in a Team Sky jersey riding along they’ll likely think you’re some kind of amateur, but if there’s two or three of you then they’re more likely to think you’re actually a pro.”

    BUT YOU’RE NOT.