Article from London Cyclist How To Save Time on your morning commute

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How to save time on your morning

Hey Warwick,

Cycling is one of the most pleasurable parts of the day
for many. But for some it means waking up really early
to get to work on time. Sometimes you just feel like you
could do with that extra 10-20 minutes in bed.

When I was working at Gray’s Inn Road I definitely liked
to push it as much as possible so I could leave the
house at the very last minute. 

I used some of these tips to speed up my cycling and
keep the boss happy.

1 – Gear down at traffic lights

If you spot a red light up ahead then try switching down
a gear. This will allow you to push off more easily when
the light turns green. 

2 – Use correct tyres

Mountain bike tyres are for icy conditions or riding in
the mud. They are not for urban cycling. This is due to
their heavy resistance which therefore requires
additional pedalling effort. Switch to slicks if your route
is mainly on the road. Your local bike shop should be
able to advise you on some good ones. The instant
difference you will notice is worth it.

3 – Push yourself

To improve your speed you need to increase fitness
levels. You can do this by pushing yourself on your
commute. Try beating your best time, using tougher
gears and incorporating some sprints. Generally
doing the things that make you sweat will boost your

4 – Be born ready

In the past I spent ages fumbling around looking for
my cycling jacket, my keys and anything else I needed
for the day. One day I realised I was wasting 10
minutes every day on this process. The solution was
simple. Always have a bag by the front door with
everything I needed already packed. This meant way
less stress in the morning when I was rushing to get
ready for work.

5 – Try a different route

It is far too easy to settle on the initial route you come
up with to get to work. Trying out some different
routes could mean better variety and also potentially
less travel time. Aim to find routes that avoid traffic
lights as they are a major time drain.

6 – Hook your feet to your pedals

It takes a while to adjust to having your feet attached to
your pedals but the speed improvements are worth it.
There are generally two options for doing this.

The first is buying specialist cycling shoes that clip on
and off the pedals.

The second is using toe straps. I prefer toe straps as it
means I can wear my normal shoes for cycling and I
don’t have to replace my existing pedals. The pair
I purchased can be found here.

7 – Keep them pumped up!

Use this simple rule: If when you push the tyre in with your
thumb it compresses in then the chance are it is not fully
pumped up and therefore is needlessly slowing you

The best thing to do is to use a pump with a pressure
 and check the guidelines on the side of the tyre for
the recommended air pressure.

For more information on bicycle maintenance don’t forget
to get your free copy of the Bicycle Maintenance Made
Ridiculously Easy eBook

8 – Check your bike fit

When you are pedalling and your leg is at maximum
stretch your knee should be bent only slightly. If it’s
bending too much then try raising the seat and see if
that feels more comfortable. This is a more efficient
cycling position.
These tips should help you speed up your journey into

Enjoy your extra time in bed!

Speak to you soon,

London Cyclist signature

P.S. I’ll shortly be sending you an email that takes you
through 3 close calls I’ve had whilst cycling in London
and how they’ve altered my cycling style to keep me
safe. Keep an eye out for that one!

London Cyclist Blog Updates by Andreas
Twitter: @londoncyclist

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