I’ve been cycling to work most days for a year, a round trip of about 15 km, not bad for a 58 year old. It’s been a challenge for me. I’ve never enjoyed exercise but started leisure cycling when we moved to Brisbane 8 years ago. I’d enjoyed riding a bike as a kid so to me it was the least painful way to do some exercise.
On holiday in 2013 I was cycling with a group of women who were in their 70’s and they made it up the hills. I didn’t. This challenged me to make riding a more regular part of my life.
Commuting to work by bike has introduced me to my Inner Road Rager, part of me I didn’t know existed. I have screamed at the lady standing in the middle of road, on the phone, baby in her arms. I have spat profanities at the drivers of cars who have come too close and my default gesture to them is the old fashioned two fingered salute. I have developed a profound abhorrence of pedestrians who wander around attached to their mobile phones, oblivious of the world around them. They step out in front of the bike, ignore the lights at pedestrian crossings and stand like immovable objects.
Most days I enjoy my bike commute, but the hills are still hills and I will never power up them easily. Some how I mistakenly thought that I would eventually be able to go up them effortlessly. I love not getting stuck in traffic on the way home and enjoy the new found energy that regular exercise brings. I miss it when I have to drive. I now notice the flow of the river, the flowering plants and the rhythm of the seasons.
Leaving work may mean leaving the opportunity to cycle to work. Who knows what office I’ll be in when I come back and I will only cycle along a safe route.
The next cycling adventure is looming fast, next week we will be tackling the Otago Rail Trail in New Zealand. Over four days we will do 152 km. I ‘m worried about my ability to do it and at times feel quite panicky…. though that feeling could also be excitement.