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Toyah the Toyota is gone…

Toyah  the Toyota has served us very well since 2000 – 12 years of reliable motoring.

But I have just sold her to a new owner. We are a one car (one bike) family.

I bought my first car in the late 1980’s- A 1963 Volkswagen Beetle called Beatrix. (You never forget your first!)

Beatrix the VW Beetle
Beatrix the VW Beetle

I bought a second VDub Beetle called Lemon a few years later. (yes she was Yellow)
A few years later, I thought I was a bit more grown up with a Ford Orion (no name).
And then a Mazda 626 – great car! If a but ropey!
I think I had a few carless  (and careless!) student years.
I then bought a Ford Escort, called Freddy.
And then in 2000 I bought  Toyah the Toyota…

Toyah in the NewForest
Toyah in the NewForest

And then last February (2011) I started riding my bike to work and Toyah was a once a week affair, usually Emma taking her to work.

We’ve put it off for 6 months, but over the winter she was used less than once a week and we have finally said goodbye.

For the next year I will hopefully save:
Insurance £210, Tax £125, and MOT £40: that’s £375 over the year.
By cycling to work I will not buy £50+ worth of petrol a month: that’s >£600 over the year.
Of course there’s servicing  and wear and tear which with a car can be considerable – but the ancillary costs for a bike are less.

But let’s just say I hope to save £900 over the coming 12 months.

And then there’s the exercise and perhaps immeasurable health benefits: a good aerobic activity twice a day.
The daily endorphin hits are invaluable. Read more here 

Happy daze?

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It’s been a year… 3051 miles recorded over 12 months

Life was somewhat different 12 months ago. 27th Feb 2011. The I had not been on my bike for more than 6 years. Generally I encountered minimal exercise. The prospect of cycling 7 miles each way to work once a week was not an option, it was not gonna happen.

But then one Sunday I just got my old bike out from under the kids trampoline, play pool and nursery boxes and went round the block, about 9 miles.

{GOOGLE MAP}

After a few more weekend jaunts, and then some test rides to work! (what was I thinking?) It’s now been a year since that key decision to get back on my bike.

Now that I cycle, I see good aerobic activity twice a day. The daily endorphin hits are invaluable. The daily experience is arguably also more constructive than a similar trip in a car/bus and cerebrally, thoughts and feelings get a more intense workout. The experience is arguably exhilarating and elevating, depending on your psychological position/attitude in the road-space, social-class struggle – this does need to be kept in check.

At rough tally, I guess I’ve saved 14 miles of fuel a day, that’s ~£1.35×2 for a 7mpl car. That’s ~£54 a month… a nice monthly fuel saving, and extra exercise costs (time & money) not are required.

A nice few hours out on a Sun Mon:

{GOOGLE MAP}

And so, just for the record, since last Feb 27th 2011 through Feb 27th 2012:

Cardio Trainer, recorded: 27 Feb – 4 July = 851.71miles
Endomondo, clocked: 5 July – 22 Dec = 1636.93 miles
3 Jan through 27 Feb 2012 = 563 miles

So that’s = 3051 miles recorded over 12 months… and relax!

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A good old crusty loaf!!

With the challenge set after tweeting GBBO’s Holly a fellow Leicestershirianite(?), I set to bashing some dough round!

A good old crusty loaf!
As I pummelled the dough I was reminded of the muppet in the white van that terrorised me on the way home the other day.
I was in ‘my space’ on the road, with a car in front of me, and they (the white van) seemed to have had a bad day and were not happy (i guess) that I was in front of them? Sor-rry! Revving their engine and blasting their horn behind me, they followed me for a good 900 yards unable to get by. They did eventually overtake me when there was room, and broke infront of me as if to make a point. It left me a tad shaken and seriously wondering if all this cycling malarky was worth it!?
Yes, on the way home a few dozen drivers race-off accelerating away like missled lemmings after being inconvenienced for 10 seconds! Oh I do hope they get there in time!!
But cycling IS worth the occasional encounter with a ready-sliced roadster! Life is worth living. Breath is worth breathing! Time is worth spending! Bread is worth cutting!
I do wonder why so many people are in such a rush to get somewhere? Life’s too short to get their early!
Driving home from work used to take me 25 minutes. Riding takes me 35.
OK some may think I’m a bit of a crusty old loaf for cycling to work but take if from me – it tastes good!!!
Ta Holly!