I originally used the sobriquet Mr Grumpy Cyclist for this site, as a reference the the Grumpy Old Men TV series and partly as an attempt at irony. However, I realized that after I started cycling a lot I was not really all that grumpy at all, particularly when cycling, as I really did enjoy cycling the 25 mile round trip to work and back. I can get a bit annoyed by some of the antics of a minority of drivers, though, especially when they put my life at risk just to save a few milliseconds off their journey time or to get to the next set of traffic lights half a second earlier. Having retired from paid employment at the end of 2014, I don’t get quite so many miles in as I did when commuting, but still like to use the bike as much as possible
I restarted cycling around Easter of 2010, when my daughter suggested we do the 60 mile Manchester to Blackpool ride to raise money for The Christie cancer hospital. They, along with a wonderful surgeon at The Royal Bolton Hospital, saved the life of my lovely wife over the previous year, and are still doing so (but that’s another long and continuing story). I had been an occasional (O.K. very occasional) cyclist for the previous 15 years or so, though I did cycle to work for a while before that.
The Manchester-Blackpool ride was in July 2010, and then I started cycling the 25 mile round trip to work about 3 times a week from September onwards. In cycling to work over the period from September to December, I cycled just over 1000 miles, lost about 4 inches from my waistline, lost nearly 2 stones in weight and saved about 20 gallons of diesel fuel.
At the end of October 2010, I bought a cheap video camera for my helmet and started recording my commutes on video, joining the rapidly expanding ranks of the camera carrying bicycle commuters.
I did, of necessity, learn an awful lot of stuff very quickly about how to cycle in rush hour traffic, partly from experience, partly from other people’s experience and partly from reading. I would particularly recommend the book “CycleCraft” by John Franklin. I also found it useful in the summer of 2012 to take advantage of the free one-to-one cycle training that is offered through Transport for Greater Manchester.
I decided to put some of my own experiences here to add to the stuff that’s already out there; reading is one thing, but it’s good to see (and discuss) a variety of examples. I would also welcome any constructive feedback on my pages, particularly if it helps to improve my own riding style and habits.
I post example videos on YouTube, some of which are embedded in my pages on here. You can view my YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/MrGrumpycyclist/.