I enjoy cycling but don’t jump on my bike as often as I should do. Today, however, was one of those rare occasions when my bike seemed like the perfect mode of transport. I was meeting an ex-colleague for a coffee in Canonmills – about 1.5 miles from home.
So what was it about today that made me pull my helmet on and drag my bike up from the basement?
At one level, I knew I needed some exercise! Working from home means my activity levels have plummeted. Additionally, my indoor hockey session was cancelled this week, so I felt I should replace it with some other form exercise. I quickly reasoned that I could tick two things off at one – I could get where I need to get AND gain some exercise, all for free. It was a win-win all round. Still, for me that’s not enough of a motivation on its own, otherwise I’d be cycling or running everywhere.
Upon reflection, I think location was probably the main driver for my decision to cycle. Canonmills is a perfect cycle destination for me:
- It is not too far, but is still far enough that I wouldn’t want to walk
- There are no big hills to tackle
- Cycling is probably the fastest option to get there after driving
- I can go the whole way on off-road cycle paths
- I know there is somewhere to lock up my bike when I arrive.
As anticipated, I enjoyed my ride. I think cycling (and walking) makes you feel more connected to your surroundings compared to a journey in a car. Plus, you get to spot views like this.
I didn’t mind it too much when it started to rain and I even managed to deal with my chain coming off, without too much difficulty. Although I will admit to having to ring James to ask how I to get the chain back on.
So I guess today hit the right combination of factors – a desire to get more exercise and the perfect cycle-able destination. Plus I didn’t need to worry about being sweaty, which would have been more of a problem if I had been going to a meeting. I’m still not sure why I don’t cycle more often. I think I associate certain journeys with certain modes – a trip into town is always by bus, a trip to my nearest post office is on foot … These are habitual journeys and there are not many journeys I associate with cycling.
I want to cycle more – I know it is good for me both physically and mentally. I would like it become a habit for a wider set of my regular journeys. I just need to find a little more motivation. I actually think that just by writing this blog post I am beginning to re-evaluate my cycling.