It's easy to get bored of your commute every now and again.
Despite the fact it's incredibly satisfying when you finally work out how the traffic lights on your route are programmed, that doesn't change the fact you use that knowledge twice a day, every day.
by bike through the winter
Furthermore, knowing your route inside out can be it's on source of frustration when you know there's a particularly staccato section ahead of you.
So what can be done in order to reinvigorate yourself and get you pumped on the idea of your commute?
1. Get a different route
We know it sounds obvious, but having two or even three ways of getting home can be a bit of a brain-saver after a particularly depressing day at the office.
Adding an extra hour isn't for everybody, but try not to stop yourself from going through that beautiful park, or down a lovely river path, just because it'll add an extra mile or two onto your journey.
Everyone wants to get home quickly, but you'll arrive through the door a lot happier if you've done a more fulfilling or pleasant ride to get there.
How do you find these routes? First of all, try a couple of different apps and map services to see what they suggest. You can use this information to create a route of your own, mixing up cycle-friendly, quieter paths with larger roads where you can really put some speed down.
And remember to ask friends and family! Nothing beats a good recommendation.
2. Change your steed
What about trying your commute on your mountain bike? Maybe it will open up a new route as well!
A fixed gear is a sure-fast way to bring a new challenge to your daily routine, and it might even improve your bike handling skills too.
Perhaps those of you who insist on racing to work on your road bike in order to top up on your training might benefit from taking things a little easier on a hybrid or dutch-style bike. Instead of being focused on performance, you may get a chance to take in the scenery and experience your ride in a completely different way. Slower is not always a bad thing!
3. Keep a record of your progress
The other way to keep your commute entertaining is by doing the opposite of what we just said: i.e, if you're not currently using your commute to improve your performance, you should start doing so.
Watching yourself improve over time can be incredibly rewarding. And it's not just for sprinters either.
Cycling improves your fitness, so even if you aren't going for top-level exertion on your commute, you should see a difference in your times. You can do this using an app like Strava, or with a good, old-fashioned watch.
And if you do use an app with GPS capabilities, you get the added extra of seeing exactly how many miles you've managed to clock during the week. Again; very satisfying.
4. Give yourself time
Increasing the length of your commute isn't something everyone fancies, but you could consider leaving earlier to enjoy that time in other ways.
Leaving half an hour earlier in the morning can completely change the traffic landscape: you may find you have the road to yourself and that you prefer a little less sleep as a trade off for a lot more pleasure.
The other option is to find a coffee shop that you love on your route, or take a hot drink with you in a thermos to enjoy at a particularly picturesque point. Voila – a beautiful start to your day!
5. Try the other options...
Take the bus for a few days, or drive for a fortnight. You'll soon be gagging to get back on your bike after remembering why you made the switch in the first place!
Because when you pitt commuting by bike against commuting by anything else, we all know what's going to come out on top.