Q&A

So many questions, so many more answers!

(If you want to know about things not mentioned on this site, add a comment on any page. OR join CCE (no question too simple/difficult) and get various answers!)

Edinburgh cycle commuters ride different bikes, go at different speeds, choose different routes and clothes. Some ride ‘every’ day, others just when it’s warm and sunny.

They all started one day – probably not a Friday!

What sort of bike should I have? 

One that fits. Not too big or small, with saddle and handlebars at optimum heights for comfort. Needs brakes that work. Most people like gears, but some prefer the simplicity of a singlespeed.

Should I wear a helmet?

That’s something of a controversial subject! CCE has had several ‘helmet threads’. Some had to be closed because they became impolite.

CCE’s ‘line’ is “personal choice”. Some discussion here.

What if I get a p*nct*re?

(Some people are sensitive/paranoid about using that word!)

If you’re less than a mile from your destination it’s probably sensible to push your bike. If you know how to – and have the tools – fix it. (Carry a spare tube as swapping is quicker than waiting for the glue to dry.)

There are probably times (like when it’s raining) where it might be better to lock the bike and take a bus. Or a taxi – don’t forget you can take your bike in most taxis (though probably not hire cars).

What will people THINK?

Unless you work in a particularly unreconstructed workplace, the chances are that any comments are likely to be complimentary or perhaps (unintentionally) unhelpful – ‘oh you’re so brave’. People who cycle are still a minority, but less of an odd one than was once assumed. The fact that many employers offer bike buying schemes show that things have changed a lot in recent years.

What if people think I smell?

Personal hygiene is of course always an issue when working with other people. Most people who cycle are extra conscious of this. General solutions are wash (when necessary), try not to overheat (unless you intend to shower). CCE wisdom is to leave home wearing one layer less than you need for immediate comfort. The exercise will warm you up quickly. Layers is a key word for people who cycle.

Of course people who don’t dry clean their suits and/or smoke may also smell, even if they don’t cycle…

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