My bike and I have been through a lot in the past 16 months…
From January to June you will have found me commuting from Fulham to Le Cordon Bleu Visiting my sister on the weekends in west London and a few laps of Richmond Park on the way. I cycled no matter the weather. My friends and family thought I was crazy, but I hated the tube and honestly, couldn’t afford it. The bike gave me time to think, time to relax and reduced commuting time.
Once I was back in Manchester in the summer, I was back on the Cheshire roads. I am so lucky that there are a few other cyclists at my company and we are able to get on to our bikes on a Friday afternoon and get some miles under our belt.
In that sense, cycling has been compared to ‘the new golf’. Great for team bonding and networking. I have chatted to senior colleagues much more comfortably on a bike than over the desk and having a shared hobby defiantly helps conversation flow.
One positive – you don’t have to pay for a ’round’ of cycling. But you may have to pay for a round of drinks at the half way point.
When I tell people I used to commute everywhere in London everyone asks how safe it was. I tell them “much safer than Manchester”. Manchester has awful cycle lanes, pot holes and puddles EVERYWHERE. When it came to November 5th (my dads birthday) I was zooming to work and someone pulled out on me. I went over the bonnet. Fortunately, neither my bike or I broke a bone (or frame) but I was very shaken up.
I had a few months off over the winter and now that the roads are quieter I am back in the saddle.
Yesterday I had the best ride in months. The roads are peaceful. The cyclist to car ratio is one to one. The cheshire country side is at its most beautiful in spring. I was the happiest I have been in weeks.
Cabin fever can most definitely set in by week three and it is important to stay active, get some fresh air and have some ‘me time’. My advice to everyone is get outside when you can wether it is a HIIT work out app, walk, run or ride. Keep 2 meters away from everyone. It will boost morale!
With cycling you will have your ups and downs, and I am not just talking about the hills. But at the end of the day if you love cycling you will always come back to it and it’ll be your ‘thing’.
The equipment is not cheap. I could only afford a bike once I was employed and as a graduate I could only afford my Pinnacle. I love it. It does the job. I have overtaken many people on better, more expensive bikes. On top of that you need a helmet, padded shorts, lights, lock, maybe cleats and services. This has probably totalled to £1,000 over two years. But for me it is worth it.
I hope you all enjoy the spring weather, get outside, make the most of it. Stay 2 meters away.