Category Archives: Commuting

My last day before I enter my mid-30s

Today is my final day as a 33yo. Tomorrow I will have to accept that I am going to be in my mid-30s. What? 33 is still early 30s. Haha.

I’m actually not one of those people who are phased by age. But I do like birthdays. Mostly because I am so glad to be alive. And also because I still like getting presents 😉

This year, my partner bought me some bikepacking gear for my birthday (if you are in Australia and haven’t already done so, check out Bike Bag Dude). I got it early so have been using it already. I totally love it. Having my bike carry my gear makes commuting a breeze. I hate arriving at work with sweaty back and underarms from carrying a backpack, so having the seat post bag totally changes everything. I also hate my lunch getting squashed, so having a chaff bag allows me to separate my food from heavy gear or clothes.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I would love to spend it outdoors doing something totally crazy. But instead I am going to indulge in my second love: the movies. My partner and I are going to see a movie in the morning (We’re the Millers), then going to lunch before returning to the cinema to watch a second movie (Paranoia). I once went to the movies 5 times in 7 days and it was one of the best weeks of my life, so this will come close to being one of the best days.

I am sure that a whole day of popcorn and cinematic joy is an important part of my training regime 😉

Total: 30km cycle commute (once I get home)

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What’s you commute look like?

My commute isn’t long. It’s only about 15km, which is just under 10 miles. I used to find the commute to work boring because the main roads are so heavily trafficked during peak hour. But, since Cycling for Hope, I have realised that I don’t have to be restricted to taking the most direct route to work. Actually, I don’t have to be restricted to anything anymore when it comes to cycling.

Add to that the inspiration I am drawing from bikepacking blogs, and particularly those of people who were training to ride the Big HURT, and I have found a mix for spicing up my commute. Besides, I’m training to ride the Tasmanian Trail later this year so I need to get some off-road practice.

Instead of heading directly to work, I swing around the block and hike-a-bike through a short section of bush to ride the gravel road in this photo. Then, I ride down the verge alongside the road, battling long grass, holes, rocks and small jumps. I round the ride out with about 5km of footpath riding because it makes me feel like I am on holidays.

What’s your commute look like?

Total: About 30km commute by the time I get home.

Fog riders

Fog rider by Andrew Gills
Fog rider, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

With the sudden transition from winter to summer that we experience here, mornings are often punctuated by low-lying fog. This morning, after riding my MTB through the bush to Mum’s house, she and I went on a road ride through said fog. It was a beautiful way to start the day.

Scene from my commute

Scene from my commute

After leaving Mum at the start of her street, I continued on to work. The new bikepacking gear worked really well on the road bike and will save me carrying a backpack when I cycle commute. Importantly for my colleagues, the bun loaf I bought for our morning tea fit in the seat post bag without getting squashed.

Total: 7.5km MTB + 51km road ride (including my commute home tonight)

Continuing the love affair

Summer is here by Andrew Gills
Summer is here, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

I had university classes last night so didn’t get a chance to go riding. I found myself rather sad, like a love-sick teenager missing my girl. So it was with great excitement that I got out this morning to cycle commute.

It’s strange to find this rekindling of love for moving on two wheels. I used to feel this excitement and passion in my twenties, and feeling it again is fantastic.

Today’s commute will be about 30km in total (I broke the cycle computer on my MTB). Instead of riding on the road, I have been playing on the grassy verges and off-road concrete cycle paths. It’s good training for my Tasmanian Trail trip in December.

Total: 30km cycle commute

Fun play commute

Fun play commute by Andrew Gills
Fun play commute, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

One of the best things to come out of Cycling for Hope is a renewed sense of comfort and joy in cycling. And one of the best things about Cycling for Hope being over is that I can play on the bike without worrying about having to stay out on the road for 100km.

This morning I wanted to get out to play. But I didn’t want to get up early or ride in darkness. So I added a couple of kilometers to my morning commute by riding some short sections of trail. I continued my playfulness by cycling on the wide grassy verges alongside the road instead of cruising the bitumen. Sure, I did have to ride the concrete for a little while but I still got a good half hour of play into my ride.

Tonight I’ll ride home. Maybe I’ll play some more because it will get me off the main roads during the dangers of dusk.

Total: 30km commute (including tonight’s return ride)

I just couldn’t help myself

Scenic commute by Andrew Gills
Scenic commute, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

I was going to rest this week. But after two days of inactivity I felt totally lost and restless. So this morning I jumped my my 29er (which I didn’t ride during Cycling for Hope) and rode the scenic route to work down the gravel road and then along some footpaths.

It felt so good to be on the bike. This is the bike I’m taking to Tasmania later this year when I ride the Tasmanian Trail so I was excited to give it a burn after riding the roadie for the past 31 days.

Total: 30km commute

Commuting and change of plans

I finally managed to sort my schedule out today so that I could ride the Purple Monster to work. It was such a joy to cycle to work after riding my motorbike the past couple of weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I love love love riding my motorbike. But I have missed my treadly.

Nothing exciting happened on my ride and I left my mobile phone at home so couldn’t take any photos. But the cool air and exercise was a great way to start the day. I just have to remember that joy tonight when I ride home at 9pm after my Justice of the Peace volunteering commitments are over. Though I’m sure that it will be a nice way to wind down after sitting in the shopping centre for two hours signing documents.

While cycling to work, I decided to withdraw from the 25 May rogaine that my team mate can’t come to and to enter a 400km Audax cycling event instead. I’ve never attempted a 400km ride before but managed to complete the Oppy in March so I’m sure I’ll be fine. I rode the 366km of the Oppy in 24 hours with a sleep stop and the cut off for the 400km is 27 hours so it’s mathematically possible for me to make it.

Total: 29km cycle commute to and from work