Monday 29 June 2009

Monday June 29th

I took it pretty easy this morning as I was pretty tired and got up early. My average heart rate was only 138 which is lower than normal but my average speed was still 11.2 and time was 27 minutes and 17 seconds so I’m pretty pleased with that as I wasn’t really trying.

On the way back I cycled the whole way again. I felt really good. Mondays are always better as my legs are not sore after recovering over the weekend. Today I was managing around 16 MPH on the flat in 5th gear fairly easily.

I took a slightly different route today and took a bit of a shortcut through Clapham Common. Clapham Common is about 8 miles into my route so a good chance to get off the saddle for a little while so I walked for a few minutes through the path to have a bit of a break.

Despite walking part of the route I still managed an average speed of 11.5 MPH and did the whole 12 miles in 1 hour and 4 minutes.

The plan this week is to cycle all the way home on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday so I’ll have to see how I feel tomorrow and Wednesday. There’ll be no cycling on Thursday or Friday.

Key below:

  • HRav: Average Heart Rate
  • kCal: Calories
  • D: Average
  • Av: Average Speed
  • Max: Max Speed
  • T: Time

O: HRav: 138 kCal: 358 D:5.1 Av:11.2 Max: 18.7 T: 27:17.5
R: HRav: 159 kCal: 952 D:12.4 Av:11.5 Max: 26.9 T: 1:04.41

Sunday 28 June 2009

Swimming and sore arms

Yesterday morning I went swimming for the first time in ages. Alex (my new PT) had recommended it as some gentle exercise following the weights on Saturday. It would help stop my muscles getting too sore.

I swam 40 lengths, which in the gym's 20M pool is about half a mile. It was fine and I actually enjoyed it as I always enjoyed swimming. My arms were a bit sore initially but soon loosened up.

The rest of the day my arms got increasingly painful. Most movements were fine but straightening my elbows all the way was INCREDIBLY painful. Lifting my arms above my head, for example to grab the collar at the back of my neck to take off my T-shirt was also very sore.

I took some Ibuprofen but it didn't help much.

I had a mixed night sleep as whenever I turned over I woke up. It was also VERY hot.

This morning I actually got up when the alarm went off for a change and got out of the flat at 6. I made it to the station for 6:05 only to find that the next train wasn't until 6:14.

The in laws were with us over the weekend so I had a couple of big meals and some cocktails. End result was that I put on 4lb over the weekend but I'm not worried about that and am sure I'll lose it again quickly this week.

Saturday 27 June 2009

End of week 4 and return to the Gym

It's been a pretty good week and I have cycled over 50 miles. I've lost just over 6 lb.

I had my first Gym session in over a year this morning. It was a try out personal training session to see if I got on with a potential new PT (personal trainer).

The guy's name was Alex and he specialises in weight training. I went for him as I don't want to do much cardio at the gym as I think I get enough of that on the bike during the week. At the gym I mostly want to work on the upper body and core muscles, basically anything that my cycling doesn't cover.

It was only a half hour session but my god that was enough. We stayed on the weight machines rather than the free weights and did bench presses, rowing (weights machine not rowing machine) and shoulder press. We did 3 or 4 sets of 15 with 45 second rests.

To be honest I am not sure why we did the last set on each machine as by then my arms were like spaghetti and Alex did basically all the work!

After the weights we did 4 minutes on the cross trainer. 20 seconds of sprinting followed by 10 seconds of rest and so on. After 2 minutes I had to ask to slow down as I was starting to feel sick but in the 4th minute we did more sprints. I think the sickness was partly because I had just taken a big drink of water which was probably a bad idea.

When we had finished I literally could barely lift my arms above my head. Showering and drying my hair was very difficult as was putting on under arm deodorant!

I think that 2 half hour sessions a week (not sure I could manage a 1 hour session) would be pretty good and compliment my cycling well.

Friday 26 June 2009

Friday 26th June

Today was the first time that I got to play with my new toy – my Polar Cycling Computer. I am pretty pleased with it so far. There are 1 or 2 things about it that I still need to figure out but it gives me a whole lot more information about how I am doing.

It sets max and min heart rates for you that you should try to stay between. It works this out based on your age, height and weight. It also uses these values to estimate calories burnt based on heart rate. I went above my max heart rate (160) a few time today. Usually when racing to get through a green light.

The morning run was pretty good – I got from Waterloo to the Wharf in 27:33 minutes, that was with me pedalling for 26:56 and in my target zone for 25:20.

The best bit of information was the calories burnt – a huge 388. My other computer estimated this trip as around 100.

On the return I cycled all the way home again. Up till about half way I was feeling pretty strong but the last half was a struggle. I stopped and walked for about 5 minutes 8 miles in to try to stop getting a sore backside. I think this worked as the last 2 miles were not nearly as uncomfortable as usual.

I burnt over 900 calories on the return journey taking my total burnt for the day to about 1400.

I think that I can improve my route on the way back slightly by going through Clapham Common. I think this will cut off a bit of a corner and avoid some of the congested sections of the route.

My computer allows you to upload data to a website. I’ll have a play with that later and see if I can get that to work so I can save all my training data for comparison later.

O: Time: 26:46 Average: 11.6 Max: 20.8 Distance: 5.2 kCal: 388
R: Time: 1:06:02 Average: 11 Max: 23.6 Distance: 12.1 kCal: 936

Thursday 25 June 2009

Thursday 25th June

Cycling in this morning was pretty tough. I was tired as I didn’t sleep that well last night and my legs were being very un-cooperative. I just decided to take it easy as I wasn’t in a hurry.

About half way I stopped to blow a runny nose and had a pretty bad nose bleed. I waited for it to stop for a while and it didn't, I then started walking slowly with my bike hoping it would stop and it still didn't. I stopped walking and eventually my nose did stop bleeding. I probably looked like I’d been mugged or fallen off my bike or something as a few passers by asked if I was ok. I managed to get a fair amount of blood on my shorts which I'll have to wear on the way back tonight but that's ok.

I do get nosebleeds sometimes and they are nothing more than an inconvenience - especially when you're cycling and can't go to the toilet to get copious amounts of toilet paper! I managed to wash most of the blood off before continuing by using the water in my water bottle so they did at least let me in the building when I go tot work.

Returning home was much better. I felt pretty strong and did Canary Wharf to Waterloo in a little over 25 minutes. I got the 16:36 train and got to Wimbledon Station at 16:50.

I got my new cycle computer today so I’ll try to get it fitted tonight. It will be interesting to see how the calorie estimation compares between the 2 computers.

O: Time: 34.03 Average: 8.5 Max: 17.1 Distance: 4.88 kCal: 83.2
R: Time: 27:38 Average: 10.3 Max: 20.4 Distance: 4.76 kCal: 98.8

Wednesday 24 June 2009

Where am I?

I don’t know if I posted the link to my location tracking page. Anyone can use this to see where I am so if you’re worried about me cycling home through busy London you can see if I make it or not! :)

The url for seeing where I am is:


Or you can look at the map below:

GPS tracking powered by

If I don’t have the application on my phone on then there won’t be any updates. I usually switch it on when I am cycling though.

Wednesday 24th June

The cycle this morning was harder than usual, my legs felt pretty tired but I am really pleased that I was able to cycle all the way home last night and cycle in from Waterloo this morning. I think the plan for the rest of the week is to cycle to and from Waterloo today and tomorrow and then cycle all the way home on Friday night.

The return journey was pretty non-eventful. I am finding the 5 mile cycle pretty easy now but I still push it and get a good work out (I think, my new cycle computer will help tell me if this is so). I got on the 16:39 train and had time to spare. This was with leaving from the wharf a bit later at about 16:05.

I am thinking about going back to the gym at the weekend, we don't have much on on Saturday morning. I've not been to the gym for over a year, since I started the job that I'll be leaving at the end of next week in fact. My cycling should be taking care of my leg muscles and losing weight but my upper body is not getting much exercise. I would like to do 1 personal training session a week to just work on my upper body. As these muscles get bigger this will in turn help weight loss as these muscles will burn calories all the time.

Last night I ordered a new cycle computer, the CS200cad. I was going to go for the CS100 but I wanted the cadence sensor and by the time I added that it came to nearly as much as the CS200cad (which comes with the cadence sensor already). This is a lot more than my last cycle computer but I want to monitor my heart rate and get a better idea of the calories I am burning. The CS200 should be much better at this.

O: Time: 28.47 Average: 11.1 Max: 20.0 Distance: 5.36 kCal: 105.0
R: Time: 27.44 Average: 10.0 Max: 21.7 Distance: 4.64 kCal: 94.9
(on the return journey I didn’t have my computer plugged in at the start, that’s why it’s shorter)

Tuesday 23 June 2009

Tuesday 23rd June 2009

I couldn’t cycle in today as my bike was still at Canary Wharf. To make up for this I decided to try and cycle all the way back.

At Tower Bridge I was still feeling pretty good so I cycled all the way to Wimbledon.

It only took me 1 hour and 2 minutes to cycle all the way back which I was really pleased with. This doesn’t include lights but I don’t think it can be much more than 70 minutes all in. This really does prove to me that you can cycle the whole way and not have it take much longer than getting the train.

The weather was really nice today and made being outside very nice. One the slow uphill bits though when there wasn’t much of a wind it did start to feel really hot.

The ride was hard again tonight but already I felt that it was easier than Friday night. My backside is sore again but not nearly as bad. I hope I’m ok to cycle again tomorrow morning. I might even cycle all the way back again tomorrow night.

This time round I found a way out of Canary Wharf that avoids the big hill up to the roundabout and then down steps. This is even worse on the way back as you need to climb a huge set of steps carrying a heavy bike on tired legs.

At this bit:

View Larger Map

I used to have to cycle up the hill on the right but this time I went into the tunnel on the left.

After you come out you can then get on this bit of pavement to get back to the Thames Path:

View Larger MapThis will be really useful going in the other direction in the morning. I HATE those steps!

I have now done over 100 miles on Oliver.

Time: 1:02.26 Average: 11.6 Max: 26.3 Distance: 12.13 kCal: 259.0

Monday 22 June 2009

Monday 22nd June

I'm just cycling from Waterloo to Canary Wharf today as I have an early leaving do tonight (I leaving my current company at the end of next week) so I'll leave the bike at the Wharf tonight and cycle home tomorrow.

This morning I took the shorter route along Southwark street then onto Tooley Street. Over the weekend, especially on Friday night and Saturday I was pretty sore after my long cycle home on Friday but I recovered pretty quickly. This morning, other that feeling tired I felt fine.

However, after Friday I think it's going to be quite a while before I can cycle all the way in and back 5 days a week. I can keep gradually building up to it though.

I think I'm going to take the bike for its free inital service today as it's done pretty much 100 miles. The brakes are also really noisy and I think I'll get some different pedals.

Time: 27:30 Average: 11.0 Max: 19.1 Distance: 5.06 kCal: 97.7

Friday 19 June 2009

End of Week 3

I only cycled 2 days this week but did manage a total of over 28 miles.

I didn’t lose any weight this week which surprised me after my 12 mile cycle home last night. I didn’t eat as well as I should have though. I didn’t gain any weight and hopefully have got a bit fitter and stringer so I can go further next week.

Friday June 19th – Afternoon

Well I made it! I cycled the entire 12 miles home. It was ok till about the last 3 miles when I started to get a sore arse.

I’m very pleased that I managed it though and will probably do it again next Friday, ore maybe sooner depending how I’m feeling. At the moment the though of cycling again tomorrow morning isn’t that appealing so doing it on a Friday seems like a good idea.

My route was the shortest I could find. I might try a slight variation though as the end of the route had some pretty long hills. Fortunately they were mostly downhill but there were some tough long uphill sections. Carrying on along the Northern Line (Upper Tooting Road) might be a bit longer but might be a bit easier.

It took me 80 minutes all in but only 70 not including traffic lights and other stops. I stopped a few times to check that I was going in the right direction.

There were some big roundabouts on the route but they were actually pretty easy to negotiate on the bike. The rest of the roads were mostly nice and wide and quite a few had bus lanes so generally it was a pretty good ride.

I am feeling pretty sore at the moment so I’ll have to see how I feel on Monday.

I have now cycled a total of 90 miles on Oliver.

Time: 1:09:48 Average: 10.3 Max: 22.7 Distance: 12.08 kCal: 228.1

Thursday 18 June 2009

Friday June 19th - Morning

Good cycle this morning. I was going to try going back the way I came home last night but the big roundabout that the BFI IMAX sits in was a bit scary so I went on the Thames Path as usual.

The Thames Path is nice but is about half a mile or more further and it's difficult to maintain a high average speed as there are bridges and trees ect in the way. Next week I'll try to go on the roads in the morning as well and see how it goes.

Tonight is my first time cycling all the way home. It is 12 miles so I should be able to do it in just over an hour. I'm not sure how the traffic will affect me though.

Time: 28:04 Average: 11.4 Max: 18.9 Distance: 5.35 kCal: 103.7

Thursday 18th June Return Home

It took me about an hour to get to Waterloo tonight, partly because I got lost, - twice!

First of all I tried going under the big multi-level roundabout at Canary Wharf instead of over. This meant that I didn't have cycle up the big hill but I couldn't find a way back to my normal route.

Secondly after coming off Tooley Street instead of taking Union Street leading to the Cut I took Southwark Street. This route works very well but I lost my bearings a bit and couldn't find Waterloo. Turns out Waterloo is right at the end of that road and I should have just kept going.

Time: 38:02 Average: 8.9 Max: 16.2 Distance: 5.66 kCal: 95.8

Wednesday 17 June 2009

Start of week 3 - Thursday 18th June

I was on the continent on Monday and Tuesday last week and was pretty tired yesterday so didn't cycle in. I was pretty happy with last week, I lost 4lb in 4 days and cycled a total of over 30 miles.

This morning went really well. I used the Thames Path before Tower Bridge and then Cable Street. This is slightly longer but avoids traffic and traffic lights. I did Waterloo to Canary Wharf in 30 mins including stops and my average was 11.4


Time: 28:29 Average: 11.4 Max: 17.8 Distance: 5.43 kCal 107.9

Thursday 11 June 2009

Week 2 Day 4 – Wednesday 11th June Afternoon

I had a pretty good cycle home today. I’m pleased that I managed to cycle in and back both yesterday and today. I reckon I could probably do it again tomorrow as well but my legs are starting to feel a bit tired so I think I’ll stick to my plan and have a rest day tomorrow.

I left my desk at 15:50 today, set off on my bike at 16:00 and got to Waterloo at 16:35. I walked into my flat at 17:00. I’m really pleased with this, I used to allow an hour to get home on public transport even though it usually took me around 45 minutes (40 if I was really lucky). The hour it took me today includes locking my bike up in the garage at the flat but does not include getting changed at work.

What makes this even better is that there was a really gusty strong head wind today that really made pedalling difficult – especially up the hill over Tower Bridge.

I am pretty happy with the route that I am using now and am getting more confident with the traffic. I think that I might still use the Thames Path route in the morning when it’s not busy to avoid the roads and because it’s a much nicer route.

Next week I am only at work 3 days so I plan to do the same as I have done today on all three days – cycle from and to Waterloo. The week after that I’ll maybe see about cycling all the way home.

Time: 30:57 Average: 9.6 Max: 18.0 Distance: 4.95 kCal: 85.9

Week 2 Day 4 - Wednesday 11th June

The ride went pretty well this morning. I went along The Cut, Union Street and Tooley Street again and was my shortest route to date - just under 5 miles. It only took me 28 minutes on the computer but including traffic lights I think that is closer to 40.

It's not as nice as the Thames route and is MUCH busier - Tower Bridge and Borough High Street especially. It might actually be better to go straight down Borough High Street and over London Bridge. I'll try that at some point and see how it works.

Despite this being my 4th day of cycling and cycling over 10 miles yesterday I got my highest average speed today and most calories burnt.

Route is here:

Time: 28:08 Average: 10.6 Max: 17.0 Distance: 4.99 kCal: 108.2

Wednesday 10 June 2009

Week 2 Day 3 – Wednesday 10th June – Afternoon

Surprisingly my legs weren’t as sore cycling home today as they were in the morning. I think that walking around during the day stops my legs getting stiff but sleeping at night allows my muscles to stiffen up.

I used my new route again today and was taking it pretty easy as I was tired after the morning. I got to Tower Bridge and the steering seemed a bit funny. I realised that I had a flat front tyre – right in the middle of the bridge!

I had to stop, lift my bike over the barriers and walk along the pavement. My plan was to walk to Evans Cycles near Waterloo. On my way I walked past Evans London Bridge. They took about 30 minutes to fix the wheel.

Once they had finished with the wheel I decided to carry on along Tooley Street and Union Street to Waterloo. The route was not as pretty as along the Thames Path but there were no pedestrians in the way. I’ll give it a try tomorrow with hopefully no unscheduled stops.

My route is here.

The average below is low as I had to walk about a mile. I have now cycled a total of 52.1 miles on my bike over the last 3 weeks.

Time: 47:26 Average: 6.9 Max: 14.7 Distance: 5.5 kCal: 83.2

Week 2 Day 3 - Wednesday 10th June - Morning

Today is supposed to be the first day that I cycle in and back from Waterloo in the same day. I don't really have a choice going home as there is a tube strike so if I want to go home I'll have to cycle.

I managed to get the 6:32 train again this morning and my cycle was all the way down to 31 minutes but I still only got to Canary Wharf at 7:30. This will partly be because I had to wait about 5 minutes for the swing bridge on narrow street and partly because there are more traffic lights on my new route (time waiting at traffic lights is not counted by my computer). I can go round some of these so as I get more used to the route I'll probably get quicker.

Legs were pretty sore this morning so I was making a conscious effort not to push too hard to save my legs for tonight. I was trying to cruise in 3rd and leave 4th alone as that was where the pain started.

I had my first slightly scary moment this morning when I was trying to squeeze past a van on tower bridge and my pedal scraped the pavement. Tower bridge is the only scary bit of my route really. I'll get better at it as the weeks go past.

My route is here:

But it doesn't seem to have recorded the start for some reason.

Time: 31:28 Average: 10.2 Max: 17.4 Distance: 5.39 kCal: 95.0

Tuesday 9 June 2009

Week 2 Day 2 - Tuesday June 9th

Today was supposed to be the first day that I cycle all the way home. However due to a planned strike on all tube lines over the next 2 days I decided to postpone that till next week and instead cycle from and to Waterloo for the next 2 days.

Sam suggested a different route to Tower Bridge. This avoids all the uncomfortable cobbles on the other route and is about half a mile shorter I think. There is one point on this route where you have to cycle up a very steep path to a bridge over a road tunnel entrance. Sam had said that I would probably have to walk up so of course I was determined to cycle up!
I was changing down to my lowest ratio and was really pushing on the pedals at the same time when my chain broke! Not a good situation to be in!
I looked up the nearest Evans Cycles (thanks to my G1 which I am now writing this with on the train) which was back at Canary Wharf! I had already cycled a mile so had to walk all the way back.

Evans were very good and fixed the chain for nothing (as I would expect as the bike is only a few weeks old). It had not actually broken nut had just come apart if you see what I mean.

When the bike was fixed I set off again at about 5:00. This meant that I would not be able to take the bike home on the train with me which I don't like but so be it. The ride went pretty well. The new route is mostly cycle lanes to Tower Bridge. They are much better than cobbles but still surprisingly bumpy. Tower Bridge was really busy but thankfully there were a load of other cyclists waiting at the lights who I could follow. I was pretty pleased that I could keep up with the other cyclists and traffic at over 13 MPH up and over the bridge.

On that side of the bridge it's difficult to stop to go down the steps onto the Thames path so I cycled straight on then right onto Tooley street. This meant that I got over the bridge with no steps at all which was a definite bonus! I was able to re-join the Thames path fairly quickly.

There were still a lot of pedestrians about but not nearly as many as last week as the weather isn't quite as sunny. I'll have to start looking at other routes from Tower bridge to Waterloo to avoid this bit.

I felt really good cycling today, I do really enjoy it. My legs are starting to feel much stronger. On the flat I am now getting up to 4th gear and managing 14 - 15 MPH. I think I'm secretly going to enjoy cycling into work tomorrow when the strike is on thinking of everyone else struggling in on a hellish journey, don't tell anyone I told you though ;)

My route today is here. It did take me longer than before but there were a few stops where I had to look at the map to see where I was going. I’ll have to see how long this takes tomorrow when I know which way I am going.

Figures below are estimated as my computer wasn’t working for the first half mile of the journey.

Time: 40:00 Average: 9.5 Max: 17.1 Distance: 5.4 kCal: 96.7

Monday 8 June 2009

Week 2 Day 1 - Monday 8th June

Woke up to a pretty grey morning this morning but at least it wasn't raining as it had been all weekend. I was slow getting my act together and only managed the 6:32 train again. I think I am going to have to start getting my bag and clothes ready the night before. Getting out of bed actually when my alarm goes off would help as well of course but 5:50 feels very early on a Monday morning when you're used to a lie in over the weekend.

The good news was that I didn't put any weight on over the weekend so none of last week's hard work was wasted.

I was trying quite hard as I left Waterloo and I kept above 13 MPH for most of the flat easy bit along the Thames. When I got to Tower Bridge my average was only 8.9 though. I think this is because it includes the short cycle from the flat to Wimbledon station. I'll have to try to rest the computer on the train.

Instead of having a rest at the bottom of the Tower Bridge steps and at the top I went straight up the steps and had a rest at the top. I was pretty knackered and had to wait a while before setting off. The bridge was pretty busy so I had to wait a little to jump into the traffic.

I'm starting to wonder about a different route. There are quite a few cobbles on my current route north of the river. I'll maybe try going on the roads on Thursday and see what it's like - it should be a bit shorter as well.

The numbers are still getting better. I'm going to try to eat healthily this week and see how it affects my weight lose this week.

I tracked my route again today here.

Time: 36:07 Average: 9.5 Max: 17.1 Distance: 5.75 kCal: 99.1

Thursday 4 June 2009

End of Week 1

Well after 4 days of cycling I have lost just over 2lb. Not quite as much as I had hoped for but I did have a big chinese on Wednesday night that was forced upon me by some friends! ;) I hope that as my muscles got stronger and I cycle harder and longer the calories I burn will go up and weight loss will increase. Next week I'm going to try to stick to salads at lunch and just cereal in the evening and see how I get on.

Each day I seem to be getting a bit better and a bit stronger. I have cycled a total of just under 23 miles and burnt a total of around 366 calories. I actually think that the calories are very inaccurate. I need to find my polar heart rate monitor and see what it says as it'll be much more accurate I imagine.

I'm away this weekend on a car trip so I hope I don't put those 2lb back on!

Day 4 - Thursday June 4th

I left the office a bit later today as I was in a meeting and wasn't actually on my bike cycling until about 5 / 10 past 4. This didn't leave me much time to get to Waterloo before 4:45.

To begin with I was doing pretty well, I am getting to know the route now so there is no dithering. I can quite happily cruise on the flat at about 13 MPH now.

When I got to Tower Bridge I was doing really well and had averaged 11 MPH. I had a really slow walk up the steps behind a load of tourists and when I got up there the bridge was crammed with queuing traffic. I didn't fancy squeezing past it so I walked the bike over, again having to squeeze past loads of tourists over the bridge and down the steps.

On the south bank things were pretty bad again with loads of people although not quite as bad as Tuesday. I got lost at one point as I didn't know when to leave the Thames Path and go onto the road. Duke St Hill was really busy so I had to wait a while to get back on the Cycle path.

Despite all the delays I got to Waterloo at about 4:47 and got on the 4:50 train. Despite being after the 4:45 cut off none of the guards said anything.

The south bank is really not good to cycle along in the afternoon. I am thinking of cycling all the way home next week instead of leaving that till week 3. I'll maybe cycling in and back on alternating days again.

It's a rest day tomorrow so no more cycling till Monday. Despite my legs hurting and being thirsty and out of breath (and really unpleasant to be next to on the train - as I write this on the train no one is sitting in the empty seat next to me) I am still really enjoying the cycling. If only we could get ride of the b**** pedestrians! ;)

I got a GPS tracker installed on my phone today so you can see my route here.

Time 39:23 Distance 5.54 Average 8.4 Max 16.0 Cal 93.3

I don't like the tube

I ddn't used to have a problem with trains and the tube but it's starting to really annoy me having to wait for the train. The tube is getting hotter and hotter and more an more uncomfortable, the Jubilee line from Waterloo this morning was horrible with people pushing at the doors to squeeze in.

Here's looking forward to cycling the whole way and not having to go through that anymore.

Wednesday 3 June 2009

Day 3 – Wednesday 3rd June

This morning I got the train from Wimbledon and cycled from Waterloo.

Getting on the bike to cycle to the station this morning (only 0.2 miles) my legs and backside were pretty sore after the harder ride last night. I hoped that this would get better quickly on the main ride.

Despite the train carriage I was in having 4 bikes in I managed better than on Monday not hitting anyone with the bike and not having to switch sides at each station to let people on. I just stayed in the middle of the carriage and let people go round me.

I was on the 6:32 this morning instead of the 6:23 on Monday, the same train I get when I shower at home. I'm not sure what takes me so long in the morning but I need to start getting up quicker.

The cycle was actually really good. My legs were tired but didn't affect me too much. I knew where I was going this morning and my average speed was a bit higher so I got to work at the same time despite the later train.

Time: 38.22 Average: 9.0 Max: 16.2 Distance: 5.78 kCal: 92.9

Day 2 – Tuesday 2nd June

Today I was cycling from Canary Wharf to Waterloo for the first time. I left my desk a bit early at 3:45 to get changed. There was a bit of time pressure as you're not allowed bikes on the train after 4:45 so I had about 50 minutes to get there.

I cycled pretty hard to make sure I would make it in time and it was pretty hard work. I was doing pretty well though.

Someone at work had suggested that I use London Bridge instead of Tower bridge so I gave that a try. It turned out to be a bad idea though. After Tower Bridge you're not allowed to cycle past The Tower of London so I had to walk for quite a while. The Thames Path was also very narrow and busy on that side of the river. I wasted a lot of distance getting on the path for a bit then having to go back to the road and repeating.

The road I was on went under Tower Bridge so I had to get the next bridge. Back on the south bank the cycle lanes were really busy with pedestrians wondering about! I think I'll have to try to find a parallel road to use on the return home.

I got to Waterloo with about 5 mins to spare and managed to get my bike into a proper rack on the train. I was very hot and sweaty and probably not very nice to be near but I was really glad I had made it as I didn't want to leave my bike at Waterloo over night.

I am fairly confident about cycling the whole way home which will be about 12 miles. It's twice the distance but there is no time constraint. This will mean that if I have to I can work later and not worry about leaving my bike at Waterloo. The plan is to start this in week 3.

Time: 42:14 Average: 8.1 Max: 16.2 Distance: 5.72 kCal: 91.2

Day 1 – Monday 1st June

Today was my first cycle to work. I was pretty nervous to be honest. Not really about traffic, just fear of the unknown I suppose: would I get lost, would I hold all the other bikes up, would I find the showers at work, would I get the bike on the train ok etc...

I did have some problems on the train with the bike as there was someone sitting in the seats where the bike rack is. I leant the bike against the doors instead so had to move from side to side at each station to let people on.

The cycle was actually ok. I had printed a route out which I largely ignored. I'll have to get a GPS logger for my phone to record my route to put it on the blog. Most of my route just follows the Thames Path and is a very nice ride.

The route was pretty clear and empty. There were a few other bikes which were actually pretty useful for finding the way. There are a few places where the Thames Path comes away from the river and it's not immediately obvious which way to go.

Tower Bridge is about half way so I stopped for a bit of a rest before climbing the stairs. The stairs were a killer for my already tired legs and when at the top I wimped out and walked across!

Right at the end of the route there is another killer set of steps to get to Canary Wharf. There is a tunnel under the raised area but I'm not sure I fancy that. I'll maybe investigate the tunnel later.

I had got up at my usual time and I got to Canary Wharf about 20 / 30 minutes later than I would normally. By the time I had showered I was about 45 minutes later. I think this is pretty good for a first attempt.

Time: 45:12 Average: 7.8 Max: 17.5 Distance: 5.94 kCal: 88.7

The Beginning

For a while I’ve been thinking about cycling as part of my regular commute. I haven’t been to the gym for the last year (despite paying for it every month) as I never have time.

Cycling seemed to be the perfect solution:

  • It doesn’t really take any longer
  • I get some exercise in the time I would be sat on a train
  • I avoid the horrible sweaty hot tube during the summer

It took a while to get around to it but a couple of weekends ago I finally bought myself a bike. It’s been around 15 years since I last cycled so setting out in London was a bit daunting. The day I got the bike I went for an initial cycle to try it out. I covered this first ride and some details about my bike on my other blog here.

The main reason I want to start cycling is to lose weight. I am a big bloke and do like my takeaways. I also have a sedentary lifestyle and sit behind a desk all day (I am a programmer, more details here).

A side benefit is that I used to, and still do really enjoy cycling. Cycling along the Thames is really nice in the morning when the cycle paths are nice and empty.

I am planning on starting gently. and slowly building it up:

  • Week 1: Train between Waterloo and Wimbledon. Cycle from Waterloo to Canary Wharf one day, cycle back the next. Rest on Friday.
  • Week 2: Train between Waterloo and Wimbledon, cycle between Waterloo and Canary Wharf. Rest on Friday.
  • Week 3: Train into Waterloo, cycle to Canary Wharf. On the way back cycle from Canary Warf to Wimbledon. Rest on Friday.
  • Week 4: Forget the train completely. Rest on Friday.

I’m not sure if this is too ambitious or what. I am giving myself a month to get used to it but I will be cycling around 24 miles a day in week 4. It’s about 6 miles between Waterloo and Canary Wharf and about 12 miles between Canary Wharf and Waterloo.

I’ll just see how it goes. That plan can easily be altered.