Well Earth Day has come and gone, and in the spirit of a bunch of TED Talks I’ve been listening to recently, the only way we’re collectively going to make a change is (as Ghandi said) for all of us individually to
“be the change we want to see in the world.”
Hence the cycling. Although not only that, I’m working on each area of my life: Family, Work, Health, Spiritual, Intellect, Social, Personal (Fulfilment) and reviewing, renewing. It’s not a “mid-life” crisis, more of a stock take of what’s good, and where I can (& should) amplify that effect in the world.
Still, I found this again today. Totally apart from the message about cyclists (hence the tenuous link for inclusion), how many other areas of our lives are we just not seeing really big important things because we’re not looking.
The thing about cycling to work, no matter the justifications, is that you actually have to get home again. There were times today that I seriously considered just taking the bike on the train, but am glad I didn’t.
So like any beginner at something, during that Unconscious Incompetent stage (you don’t know what you don’t know), bright eyed and eager, I decided to actually cycle home with Phil my “cycle buddy.”
Then we headed off, and on this particular route, the way route home is easily twice the distance with a huge increase in up-hills. I can honestly say that without Phil, this would’ve been too daunting. I just would not have known where to go, how to handle different crossings, or what (hills, traffic, etc) to prepare for.
Unequivocally I’d recommend doing this. Get out, fix up that old bike, or better yet, get a new one. But do diligently consider the cost – your personal fitness level, the added time to work, need for shower facilities, navigation of the route, refresher of those old bike safety skills, yes the pain too – and ensure that you build in the support network you need.
At the end of the day – I made it. No heart attacks (although I worried for a while), and for tonight at least, I can still walk.
Over the last year or so, I’ve been considering cycling to work, and this morning made the first run. Whew.
There are 3 reasons which led to this momentous outcome:
- Drop the spare tire. Yep, I’ve been up and down with weight, and of course consistent exercise (without feeling like having to sacrifice time etc) is key. So, my primary reason is health.
- Save the planet. I’m hardly the “greenest” individual in the world, between the 4WD, the 3 (soon to be 4) car family, the computers, and regular international travel; I reckon my carbon footprint is the size of a small Pacific island. That said, a 10% drop for me would make a huge impact, right?
- Pecuniary Strangulation. Ok, this is tenuous. After all the GFT (Global Financial Tsunami) hasn’t had too much personal impact. Yet! Also getting a bike required some significant investment in its own right. But the GFT will have an impact, and it’s good to be proactive about these things.
So justification over, I signed up, headed out on Saturday and purchased my new “trusty steed”
And this morning, I thought to capture the experience on the phone. Unfortunately the first chapter of my Vidblog corrupted somehow, and didn’t upload to the server. However, the next two – Getting to the top of my first hill (about 600m from home) and actually making it to the office, did. Here they are:
The way I feel right now? Unsure if I’m going to be up for cycling home – or trying out the new Chatswood to Epping Railway Line….