I 'm hopefully going to secure a new job and it will be based in Oxford. Problem is; after 3 years of living in London, I’m smitten, and I don’t want to move away from the place…not yet anyway.
If I take this job I’ll only have the ZX-6R as a means of transport, and as a newbie to biking I don’t know if commuting to Oxford everyday on the bike is going to be a complete ball-ache…perhaps literally in the case of a sports bike!!
Does anyone do the same or similar commute/distance on a bike all year round that can offer me any advice? I live in Isleworth, West London so getting on the A40 is easy. Or should I just make a move?
depend where about in London you are. If you are in Ealing just on the A40 then it could be done (although I think that you are not going to like winter).
Now on the other hand if you are more than 15 minutes from Hanger lane or chiswick then… Good luck with that but it is going to be a bitch of a commute even for a well season rider…
A mate of mine is in the same position, so he rides up sunday night or monday morning, lives up there for the week in a cheap house for about 60 per week, then rides back fridays nights and comes back to his london place.
I also live in Isleworth, and a few times a week i usually have to commute down to Chichester (80 miles compared to 50 to oxford)
Its just one of those things really, however saying that, the first oportunity i am going to move out into surrey, far nicer to live, less noise, less polution but still only hlf hr to waterloo by train from Guildford.
It is doable, but you will take chunks of your spare time away just travelling - last few days ive left my house at 7:30am, and not got home till 10pm
I lived in London for years and still work in central London. Family circumstances meant I ended up moving just north of Milton Keynes.
I ride into London every day, all weathers, and have done for 2 years. To be honest, there are times I f**king hate it, and times I love it!
Heated grips are an absolute must - do not kid yourself this sort of commute in January/February is possible/safe without. I’m thinking about picking up a heated jacket this year, but it isn’t a must-have if your wear enough layers and decent jacket.
Also - be prepared to pay for constant replacement chains and servicing etc. - the miles add up very quickly. I ended up buying a 1200GS for commuting and keep a fun bike for weekends. My wrists packed up after a winter of riding (but I am well into my 30’s and starting to feel wear and tear!) so I got the sit-up-and-beg bike (with no constant chain lubing), but a sports bike is do-able for as long as you feel like doing it.
Finally, be prepared some days to say “b****r this, I’m taking the car/train”. When there’s thick ice on the roads, or if you’ve had a couple of late nights and are feeling tired, admit defeat and keep safe! Occasionally, I stop at services for a coffee on the way home, especially on a Friday after a long week - 20 minutes added on to an already 1 hour commute, but better late than never…
Hi, I live in St Johns Wood and commute Mon to Fri to Sandhurst, Camberley (40 odd miles), Mon to Fri on an R1. I love it and utterly detest the days I have to use the car to take in work stuff I can’t fit in a day sack. There’s no better feeling coming home on the bike and you hit a traffic build up on the Motorway and know that it’s not you stuck there in a car!
Just signed for the first time in a wee while and saw your post. I am the one thats been doing the journey to Brize Norton (11 miles west of oxford on the A40 64miles ish total) for the past 5 years. 6mths on a car(big mistake it took me 3 and a half hours on occasions when there are accidents) and the rest on my trusty R6(04 on 05 plate) so 4 and a half years and 75000miles and still going and only once not getting to work (i work shift 2days and 2nights it may be diffrent mon to fri) and that was this Feb in the heavy snow. I have loved every mile, as i do not always stick to the M40/A40 on occasions i head off on the A and B roads to have some fun. I use a full tank daily and use BT 21’s the front can get 8000miles and the back 5000 at best although i have had 6800 out of one of my winter tyres(rear is very square though). In this time my bike has been off the road for 10mths as i was out of the country on business, so i would have had lots more miles than i have at mo, but come march i am back at Northolt and all the fun stops and the bike will get a well deserved rest as she has been out standing with not one problem and for a sports bike very comfy with only mod a double bouble.
From Isleworth you’ve got a very easy run really, just head out onto the m4 straight up the m25 and plain sailing along the m40 to Oxford or alternatively you can just follow the a312 from waggoner’s roundabout which will dump you directly onto the a40/m40 and its as easy as that. I shouldn’t think it’d need to be much more than an hour or so’s commuting time really depending on traffic.
Are you sure you’d honestly rather live in Isleworth than Oxford though!?
Have just moved away from Isleworth and can’t say I miss the decrepid little place personally. Probably one of the dullest most run down parts of London right on the edge of immigrant-filled Hounslow and Southall.
I’d say Oxford looks positively picturesque in comparison to such surroundings!
Assume theres a RAF connection there then Adamasky?
I do SE1 to CM1 - 45 miles each way a couple of times a week to see the Mrs - (Dont ask me why but i think she’s worth it…)
Its a shock to the system when youn start but after a while it becomes pretty simple.
One thing i would say is that your going to put a LOT of miles on the bike and you would probably do well to find something with long service inervals, cheap parts etc… Something better than the standard courier hack, but not much…
Think about the running costs of disks/pads, chain/spockets, tyres… before fuel etc…!
Heated grips would be a GOOD investment for the winter too!
Despite all the sensible crap, its a luagh - ANY reason to spean an hour or two on the bike should be seized with both hands!