I cycled home this Tuesday night with the sun in my face. I felt pretty good.
I stopped by briefly at Elderslie Scout hall for my Scout Leader interview, before completing the last 3.5 miles on a quiet cycle track.
And as I pushed up the final hill towards home, I realised I have been doing this commute for just over a year now. So I thought I’d take stock of what I’ve gained from the experience and have a think about it.
I first rode the bike to work on 18 April 2011. In rain, sunshine, hail, ice, storms and snow, I have ridden it to and from work 3-5 times a week, almost every week.
In purely financial terms, that’s saved me a minimum of £12 a week, for 48 weeks, which comes to £548. That’s a lot.
In health terms, I gave my lungs fresh air and my body some good free exercise for one hour on every day I cycled. My legs are no longer the colour of bone china and they now have some curves in roughly the right places. Yes, they also have a few scrapes and bruises, but I feel that adds to the effect!
I have also let my mind wander while cycling, occasionally thinking about trying to be a better person. Mostly though, I just thought about food. I am an expert at tempting myself with thoughts of bacon rolls & a nice cup of tea, and then cycling faster so I’ll have just enough time to stop by Morrisons before 9am and make them real!
And on that note, I have to confess that I have put on weight since I started cycling. I’m about 6 or 7 kilograms heavier. Some of it might be muscle gain, but the 2 inches on my waist tells me otherwise. I know I can lose it just by changing my eating pattern, but I’m not ready to cut down the beer, chocolate, cheese, bread, crisps and pasta. Not just yet, anyway.
There have been only two negatives. Firstly, I haven’t looked after my bike, and it has taken a battering. Subsequently, it has aged badly and might have to be taken out and shot. Secondly, while I have enjoyed many of the health benefits of cycling, I’ve been shaken up a bit by some near-death experiences on the road. Mostly due to plain old-fashioned bad driving. But, you con’t let these things stop you, can you?
Strangely, I don’t ever cycle for pleasure. But in a way, it has given me quite a lot of pleasure, through giving me a little time to myself, by myself. So it really has changed me, in many enjoyable half hour increments.
It hasn’t changed my rubbish memory though. It turns out the interview I cycled along to tonight isn’t actually due till next Tuesday.
Still, a nice day for a bike ride, and no harm done.