After a few days away, playing with the family on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors, the return to riding the bike to work took consideration. It was 2°c, ‘twas raining and the sky was grey… I took the car to work. #nobrainer? The following day I needed to pop to the theatre after work, so I took the car. Why not?
The commute in the car was nice. After 4 years of riding a bike to work I caught myself driving with more of a bike-rider’s mind and view. I found myself using the mirrors much more, I found myself assessing the road and obstacles more readily. Surprisingly, I found myself not getting frustrated while I sat there in the multiple queues. However, it might not take long for sedentary routine habits to come back. I am wary of the automatic pull of mechanised drive and the boxed in separation of the driver is not a healthy state to be in. Do you remember that ‘auto-pilot’ part of the drive in? Do you remember breathing as you drive?
Yes, I had a comfy seat, I had sparkly yet shallow entertainment on tap, I just had to sit there soak it up. But, I was missing my daily exercise, I was missing the endorphins, I was missing fresh air, I was missing the experience of really breathing! I was missing the interaction with the people I pass daily. And it was costing me £2 a day in fuel.
The specific fuel costs have dropped considerably over the last few years but still 7.7miles costs about = £1.08 that’s £10.80 a week. that’s £500 a year. I am lucky, I guess, as my work’s in a undesirable city location I don’t need to pay for parking. I’m chained to a desk so I spend nothing from Monday to Friday. No impulsive chocolate bars or bottles of sugar.
I have to admit the pull of the car is strong but after two days in the car, today I took the bike again. Fresh air, endorphins, exercise, passing friends “Morning! Where’ve you been? Are you ok?”, real breathing… and saving at least £500 a year?