New job, new commute

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by Freewheeler, 10 Jun 2008.

  1. Freewheeler

    Freewheeler Well-Known Member

    Just landed a new job, and the commute is a 9 mile mix of suburban houses, country lanes, and about 150 yards of the A49. The route is at this link if anyone is interested. The section of the route between 3 and 6 miles on the map are predominantly countryside. Last weekend, I rode the route and checked out a promising looking turning. Sure enough, there is a shortcut which cuts out a busy street and takes me round the edge of a 1950's council estate, emerging via an unmade road onto the A49, just along from the office.

    Yesterday was my first day, so I drove into work. Even driving the route was pleasant. There is a shower in the building, so I rode in today. Riding in was excellent, the weather was perfect (ish, there was a northerly headwind). Hearing birds sing and seeing horses grazing on the way to work makes one feel lucky to be alive. It's a good ride, about 35 minutes; it is long enough to start getting aerobic anyway. There are a couple of decent slopes too which got me puffing!

    The only arse is that I have a laptop which I'm expected to take it home each night. I still haven't got my own drawer cabinet, so there's nowhere to stash my shoes either. Still, I think in a day or two I'll have discretely stopped using the laptop bag I was given, instead using a fairly smart single pannier to transport it. I'll have found somewhere to stash my bulky shoes too.

    And it's still only June people, this is the best time of year to be commuting! Happy days!!
  2. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    Well done - shoes - just leave then under the desk, or is there any space where you get showered ?

    Do you have to take the laptop - you might be able to leave it locked up somewhere ?
  3. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran


    After dodging redundancy I'm swapping my 12 mile commute through thundering E/N/NW London traffic for a 10 mile commute through thundering E/C/SE London traffic

    still a change and all that
  4. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    What is on the laptop that you need? Could you swap it for a USB key possibly?
    If it has a secure connection or applications that you need to take with you then why not talk to the IT dept about setting up a secure connection to work from your home? You could then just remote desktop to your work PC.
  5. HelenD123

    HelenD123 Veteran

    Well done on the cycle commute! The type of route sounds very similar to mine. It's a real pleasure going down the country lanes and soaking up the view.

    I've taken my laptop on my bike on a few occasions but avoid it if possible as it's quite heavy. I've abandoned the case it came in and decanted it to my bike office bag which helps. Otherwise it filled a whole pannier!
  6. OP

    Freewheeler Well-Known Member

    One of the guys at work is emigrating in a fortnight's time, and kindly cleared his cabinet for me, so I have 2 shallow drawers for work stuff and a nice deep one for shoes. HelenD, you're right about the laptop bag being too bulky. I've explained that I'd rather not use it, and that's fine. I'll use the bag to keep my notes and stuff in one place at work. Just tried the lappy in my pannier now, and it fits fine with plenty of space for a rain jacket, pants and shirt. I'll use a black plastic bag to line the pannier so it'll definitely stay dry.

    Dom, I'm not sure which apps I'll need on the laptop, probably just RealVNC and ssh to get into work machines. I think it's just the way things are done, your laptop is yours to keep safe, therefore it gets taken home. Now I've ditched the bag and got everything into a single pannier it should be ok.

    Tynan, same advice as I need to keep myself: be extra careful until you've seen all the dodgy spots and quirks of your new route - and learned where all the potholes are! I had a decent urban commute last year, although not in city traffic. At least the buildings give some shelter from the wind.
  7. MartinC

    MartinC Über Member

    FW - you can get locks that will lock your PC to your desk or whatever - this may help. I've had to commute with a laptop quite a lot - it's better for the laptop if it's on your back rather than the bike because it gets a lot of vibration if it's on the bike. This is a pain though so you may just want to make sure it's well padded. You can get pc specific backpacks (Targus etc.) that are quite good.
  8. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    indeed freewheeler, that's good advice, I used to ride the route ten years ago, I suspect it'll have changed a lot since then
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