THE BLOG

The Five Tribes of Cycling Commuter

02/09/2015 17:11 BST | Updated 02/09/2016 10:59 BST

It's Cycle to Work day on Thursday so we can expect thousands more people taking power to the pedal as they shake up their daily commute. If you're one of them, good on you. But so you don't feel out of place, here's a quick guide to the other cyclists you're likely to meet on the street.

1. The high-vis hero:

Bedecked in high visibility day-glo waistcoat, trouser cuffs and rucksack cover, you'll literally spot this one a mile off. They might even have one of those flick-out orange reflectors like they had in the 80s. Chances are you'll be blinded by their lights and then become a YouTube sensation when they upload the footage from their helmet cam of you picking your nose at the traffic lights.

2. The red light racer:

No time for nostril excavations. This cyclist is straight through the junctions because they are in much more of a rush than you, and therefore must be much more important. Commuter type 2b is often close by when you spot this one - that's the 'tutting head shaker', usually accompanied by a near silent moan of "you're giving the rest of us a bad name".

3. The Lycra lover:

It's not Box Hill, it's the high street, but you'll still see some cyclists snuggled into their spandex like Mr Motivator for that four mile ride into the office on their carbon fibre pride and joy. They've probably forgotten to take the race sticker off their helmet from last summer's charity ride around the village. Spot these at the lights and they'll be balancing delicately on the pedals, showing off their track skills, ready to shoot off at the green signal and smash their time on Strava. Such exhibitionism should be met with a hearty round of applause and a loud 'bravo'.

4. The everyday adventurer:

Bikes come in all shapes and sizes and this cyclist is prepared for any eventuality. If they aren't sporting a folding machine that's assembled in a fluidity and benign grin that says 'I know you're watching me and want me to fail', then it's a beast of a bike, possibly blast proof, with waterproof panniers, wicker basket, sat nav and multiple bottle cages filled with weak lemon squash. This cyclist is exploring so follow them and don't look back.

5. The bike porn pornstar:

Bearded or fringed, with rolled up jeans, woolly jumper and bobble hat, this cyclist has no need for a helmet, being protected by an invisible bubble of style and fueled by artisan coffee. The more sophisticated come complete with heels or brogues. The bikes have one gear and have cycled straight from the pages of a neon-fonted coffee table bike book. You'll hear their approach as being the sound of spokey dokeys meandering through a line of buses. But caution - they can't hear you, their headphones are pumping out podcasts at top volume. (Whatever you think, you are not ready to join this group yet.)

So now we're all friends, it's time to saddle up. And whatever you're style of cycling, it's important you just get out there, enjoy it and then do it as often as possible. This is the third annual Cycle to Work day run by Cyclescheme and we couldn't be prouder to support it and help promote it. Cycling is proven to improve your health, mental wellbeing, sex life and even your job prospects so whether you're into penny farthings or BMX Bandits, get on yer bike.

www.cycletoworkday.org