Cycling to work is always a keen topic of debate in the office, with questions ranging from the weather to the traffic conditions on show each day

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Nice ride?

commuter

The easy questions are always the first ones. You don’t mind people asking how your ride went because it gives you the platform to reel off all the annoying things that happened to you en route.

“Yeah, it was alright thanks. Except for this crazy woman who stepped out into the road without looking, making me swerve into a massive pothole and into the back of a Range Rover. But other than that and the seven punctures I got, it was a good ride.”

Did you get wet?

Welsh Raider wind and rain_Daniel Gould

The answer to this question is almost always yes, because smug people who drive to work in the warmth of their own car noticed the torrential rain and think it’s a funny question to ask.

What’s the traffic like?

Traffic

Unless you live in London, you might not experience this question so much, but given that many people who work in the capital spend a lot of their commute underground they might not see the carnage that’s on the roads above them.

What bike do you ride?

Winter cycle commute

Different tyres will be needed for commuting

Fellow riders will ask you this to establish what kind of cyclist you are, while non-riders are intrigued by people who voluntarily exert themselves before and after a hard day’s work.

While some people ride their 20-year-old mountain bikes to work purely as a mode of transport there are many others who wheel out their £4,000 Specialized every morning and undertake a strict training regime on the roads to work.

How far did you ride?

Lights

Lights

This is just a sneaky way for your colleagues to work out where you live without actually asking you. Then they’ll inwardly judge you on whether your home is in a nice area or a crime hotbed.

How do you get your clothes to work?

 

Heritage. Brompton Bikes. 04/11/09.

Heritage. Brompton Bikes. 04/11/09.

The perennial quandry of cycling commuters is how to get your work clothes to work without just shoving them into a bag each day. The tricky routine of washing, ironing and transporting five shirts to the office each week is not something to be sniffed at.

Then there’s the times where you forget your shoes, or your belt after you have to wear your work clothes home one evening…that’s when the problems start.

Don’t you get scared around the traffic?

Commuters traffic light

No, otherwise we’d be part of the traffic. Of course, everyone has their close calls on their rides to work but we can’t let that get in the way of our fresh air and exercise.

Is there anything you always get asked as soon as you arrive in the office after a bike ride? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Elaine Beesley

    Do you want a lift home, nice offer but no I rode in so why would I want a lift! Plus I don’t do small talk well so avoiding it by being in my own space is bliss every single day!

  • Tyrna Page

    No, why ?? ( Tyrna is an Irish name, pronounced “tear” ( as in what you cry) – “na” ………if it helps 🙂 )

  • stib

    “Oh you must be fit to ride that far”. No, I don’t ride because I’m fit, I’m fit because I ride.

  • Thom Cate

    Right?? “No no, I’m in my car–but I always wear my helmet. Safety First, you know.” >_<

  • PaulB

    Are you a bloke?

  • The Awakening

    alanpaul,

    Thank you for the input. I usually use the line that cyclists have a right to be there on the roads, whilst cars have to pay for that privilege… Now that you have pointed out that , “…cars and bikes are on an equal footing, tax wise”, I shall remember that ‘line of reasoning’ if and when required. **Smiles**

  • alanpaul

    Nobody pays road tax, only vehicle excise duty, and not everyone pays that if they have an economical vehicle. For the same reason, many cars are exempt from the London Congestion Charge.Therefore, cars and bikes are on an equal footing, tax wise.

  • Tyrna Page

    It’s not a frequent question, but in the five years I have been cycling to work (25 mile round trip ) in my present company, on at least a dozen occasions female colleagues have come up to me and whispered “do you cycle when you have your period ?” when I answer that of course I do, I have usually got surprised looks and “really ?” I have never quite understood that one !

  • Bryansix

    According to the author, people who drive cars are all smug and people who ride mountain bikes on the road can’t possibly be training for anything. Can we just stop with this stupid “us versus them” mentality. It really poisons the community and hurts the reputation of cyclists everywhere.

  • Wayne Nagata

    How far did you ride? Me, 25 miles one way. Mouth hits floor, (I lied to him, it’s 5 miles) : )

  • Sid Featherstone

    Are you not cold err no I’m sweating my knackers off tbh

  • Phyl Rubble

    Namothy—spot on, squire.

  • The Awakening

    Here are just a few;

    [1] On arrival, on my first day at work, I am asked by a rather over weight individual, in a rather dismissive put down fashion; “Are you a fitness fanatic?”

    [2] At a job interview at British Steel, one of the interviewers sneerily made the comment; “I see on your job application, that you ride a push bike!”

    [3] Having met a person again after a number of years, whom I had met during my Further Education, was aghast that I continued to ride a bike with the question; “Haven’t you grown up yet?”

    [4] Cycling into work and back, became a talking point in one household. A lady told me that when she extolled my cycling ability and the fact that I was helping the
    environment, her husband retorted angrily; “He doesn’t pay road tax!”

    There are more, but you get the idea…

  • Shalom50

    Met a colleague in the canteen yesterday and he said ‘there are some things you cant unsee’ referring to the kit I wear. Lol

  • CyberTonTo72

    I had to call into work one day last summer and had my red bib shorts and top on and along with he wolf whistles one of my team mates shouted out ‘Stupid sexy Flanders’ 🙂

  • simon peacock

    Are you on Strava or do you record this elsewhere?

  • Jwiffle

    Wasn’t there an article on here recently that argued against the idea of “fat, but fit?” In other words, even if they were strong cyclists, the extra fat still caused a lot of problems health-wise, according to the study they quoted. Even if you can ride for hundreds of miles, it’s a good idea to try to reduce the excess mass. Maybe the article was on cycling news.

  • Aaron Troia

    Either walking into work or with my bike behind my desk I get asked, “Is that your bike?” Last I checked it was…

  • Andrew Horton

    How fast do you go?

  • Damian Bragg

    “Don’t you shower after your cycle in?” Yes I have already showered. But because I try and wreck myself on my commute I will still be cooling down for the next hour despite showering.

  • Namothy

    Ah. Kind of against the idea of bike ability which advises that cyclists on the road are part of traffic. Important to reinforce that idea and not divorce outselves.

  • superbad

    Steel toecap boots, jeans, way too expensive Castelli top and no RUCKSACK. Everything stuffed in me back pockets. Race bike, 100 per cent for a 2 miles. 12 hour shift.

  • Martin Kerans

    i assume the writer meant in a car adding to the problem.

  • Martin Kerans

    fat doesn’t mean unfit.

  • ummm…

    he eats the rest of the day.

  • ummm…

    second!

  • ummm…

    my max commute was 24 miles. I was with you until you started in on calling everyone fat. Unless you are the skinny guy in your peloton then dont go around calling people fat. And even if you are………

  • This is the one that people ask me, drives me mad.

  • If you’re doing 42 miles a day then you won’t be fat much longer

  • Simon Mason

    Why don’t you wear a helmet? Did you know it was windy outside? What if you get a puncture? Is it safe listening to music? Did you know there is a traffic jam on the way home? Did you get wet cycling home yesterday? Isn’t it getting too cold to cycle now?

  • CyberTonTo72

    While sticking my stuff in my locker and sticking my cycling jacket on and picking up my helmet ‘Are you riding home?’ …
    Answer ‘No the bus driver is a nutter and its safer to wear a lid’

  • Antony Bell

    Hmmm I am fat and still do a 42 mile round trip daily, wind your neck in skinny lad!

  • Namothy

    What do you mean by “otherwise we’d be part of traffic”?

  • Another topic that would be better placed in The Sun.

  • brilliant!

  • gcjh

    I have a 30 mile round trip commute & I generally get the statement “I don’t know how you do it.” To which I think, but never reply, “you wouldn’t cos you’re fat.”

  • Phill

    Rather than get asked “did you get wet?” I get asked “What do you do when it’s raining?” to which I generally reply “Get wet”

  • J1

    I can see your package.

  • I generally get greeted with shock when it’s cold or wet. Despite the fact my cycle gear is all around my desk, I still get asked “You didn’t ride in today, did you!?” Despite always answering, yes, I ride in, in pretty much all conditions. It still seems to shock people.