Et il a une bicyclette!
I have decided to start cycling into work. Commuting in London takes me up to two hours a day and if I want to fit in exercise, seeing friends, cooking and baking into this, I’d need a 36-hour day. Cycling to and from work will mean I can cancel my gym membership and spend more time pursuing my other passions.
So I decided to hire a bike for a week. I went to the On Your Bike store in London Bridge on a Saturday and collected my steed. Mmh, a donkey might have been a more appropriate description. It was big, heavy, grey and slow. Being fairly fit, it was a bit of a shock to the system.
The following day, I decided to undertake a practice run into work, I set off just before 9 in the morning. It was hard work and because I wasn’t clear on where I was going, I had to stop frequently to consult the map. An hour and 10 sweaty minutes later, I arrived, discomfited, at work. I was truly questioning the benefit of such suffering. Thankfully, I made it back in a quicker time but the 25-mile round trip (via the supermarket to reward myself with nice food) exhausted me.
Having hired this instrument of torture for a week, I had to return it, which meant cycling into work again so I could return it to the London Bridge store after work. Being a tad over-cautious and maybe a little Swiss in nature, I decided to give myself plenty of time and left at 6.30am.To my surprise, it was a wonderful ride into work: I knew the route, the roads were pretty empty and it was a lovely day. The ride gave me an instant boost for the day.
This meant the bike plan was back on track. Next stop: buying a suitable bike. Having done a bit of research and spoken to a couple of people who are keen cyclists, I am leaning towards getting a road bike, rather than a hybrid. Evans Cycles weren’t very helpful and pointed me towards their ‘most’ popular model. So the hunt is very much on and I am looking forward to going to a few more shops to see what is out there.
I love how a bicycle takes you to places which would remain undiscovered were you using a car or public transport. It’s faster than walking, thus satisfying my need for speed and the plethora of new & old buildings, pretty streets, glorious parks, moving statues (Sumner Street in SE1) and very different areas of London on offer please my unquenchable curiosity.
Go on, give it a go…