We are smack bang in the middle of Bike Week (15-23rd June) in the UK. In the past few years I have come to really love cycling – I think it is absolutely brilliant! I mean, I have always ridden a bike since I was a kid – but now I have come to depend on my bike for physical, mental and emotional health! If I haven’t ridden for a few days and burnt off some steam and energy I start getting a bit cranky!
It all started when I moved to London to complete my Masters in Public Health Nutrition at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Faced with negligible income and a £1500/yr fee to use the Tube… I decided to buy a bike and rode the 10km to and from uni almost every day. I even rode when it snowed! Well, I didn’t ride the day it snowed- but I rode the day after when the roads were covered in snow and were blissfully empty of cars! Here’s a picture from earlier this year to prove that I ride in the snow!! The impressed and funny responses you get from people who see you riding in snow were always worth the effort! Plus it warmed me up (an often difficult task for a sun and hot-weather loving Aussie!!).
Now I work a few days a week in Warrington, so I catch the train from Liverpool to Warrington and then ride the 4.5 miles to get to my workplace and get showered and dressed there. The trip takes less than an hour and now that I don’t have to rely on the bus I save up to an hour in travelling time a day, save a bit of cash and get a bit of incidental exercise in at the same time.
I think riding to work (or school/college/university) is awesome and I seriously can’t tell you how good it is! I’m hooked! Having a shower and places to put my cycling kit really helps! I know there are many cyclists out there who ride to work fully dressed – I just wouldn’t be able to do that! In the last month I’ve discovered some cycling kit that i just can’t believe I managed to live without for so long!!
I recently upgraded my tank of a mountain bike for a beautiful new hybrid which is so unbelieveably light it is amazing! But my favourite thing of all time (other than my bike) is my new bike Bag. Made in the Netherlands (of course) where all awesome bicycle related things originate, this bag is like the best invention ever. It fits so much stuff, is pretty, clips on to the panniers and then easily clips off to become a shopping bag. How clever! Plus it looks great – I get lots of comments and asked where I get it from all the time. So many choices it is hard to choose one!
Over the past few years while travelling I have had some adventures on the back of a bicycle which is always great to reminisce. I spent 3 months travelling through South-East Asia a few years ago and took a long dusty bike ride in 4000 islands to go and see the fresh water dolphins which was an amazing experience in itself!
Going even further back – while I was in Zambia we used to do a bit of bike riding here and there around the place. This photo is a few years old (although some people say I haven’t changed….) but spent a great weekend riding around Nsobe game reserve which was a privately owned park where we could ride and swim in the lagoons without fear of being eaten by a lion or a crocodile!!
Anyway, I hope this post has inspired you a little bit to go and get on your bike!