Working from home during the pandemic means missing the morning and evening bike commute. Lethargy sets in. Time to get back in the saddle!
Cycle commuting is great for your physical and metal wellbeing because you do it so often. The necessity of getting to and from work provides a compelling reason to ride each day. When you’re working from home you don’t have that incentive. It’s easy to put off riding – it’s drizzling, feeling a bit tired – and pretty soon apathy and cabin fever set in.
Non-essential journeys are discouraged during the pandemic. Exercise, however, is actively encouraged. The key isn’t to wait for a sunny weekend but to make room for cycling in your day-to-day schedule, just as you did when you were commuting by bike.
This takes discipline. The payoff is that it provides the same benefits as actual commuting: it wakes you up and makes you ready for work in the morning; and it allows you to de-stress after work.
Plot a short loop from home that will take a similar amount of time to ride as your commute. In the morning, ride it one way. In the afternoon or evening, ride it in reverse. Since it’s not an A to B journey, you can vary the route as you wish. Time is the only constraint.
If you can’t face going out in the winter darkness after work, just do the virtual commute each morning. That way, however busy you become during the day, you’re guaranteed some fresh air and exercise. It won’t be squeezed out of your schedule.
Psychologically this is easier but you still have to make time to ride. Use your lunch hour – and if you only have half an hour for lunch, start work half an hour earlier so you do have an hour. Avoid making this ride optional. Commit to riding, even if you can’t be on your bike for long.
Minimise pre-ride faff by ensuring everything is ready before you start work. Then you can have a 45 minute blast, with 15 minutes left for showering, changing, and making a sandwich. Yes, you’ll be eating at your desk. Your home, your rules!
Riding at lunchtime means less traffic and guaranteed daylight. You can also adjust what time you head out to suit the weather. Chucking it down at 12.30? Lunch at your desk and go out later. Again, vary your loops to keep things interesting.
The least pleasant option but better than nothing. You’ll need a turbo trainer, which will cost from £100 upwards. If you can, leave a bike set up on it in the garage/spare room. Then if you haven’t managed an outdoor ride during the day, climb onto your turbo trainer immediately after work. Many will find indoor training boring, so listen to music, do some interval training, or sign up to Zwift to make the time pass quicker.
Ready to revolutionise your commute?