Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Cycling Commuter

Ever since I moved up to London I had wondered if cycling to work was a realistic possibility. My landlord had said he thought it might take around 45minutes to get into the city. Which isn't far off what it takes via the tube door-to-door, if I walk to the station (10mins). I haven't really been doing enough exercise since I moved, the walk to the tube isn't long enough to count and I haven't got round to playing badminton again regularly.

Yesterday I took the plunge, as my travelcard had just expired it provided a good opportunity to try it out and save some money at the same time. I quite enjoyed it. Well, the cycling outside the city anyway. Once you get over London Bridge it's not so nice; solid traffic, more fumes and traffic dust/pollution (huh - fat use the congestion charge is). I haven't had any big worries about getting run over yet; I've been keeping my eyes open and looking behind me plenty as I move around/vehicles come up on me in busy areas.

I bust my old helmet last year by accidentally dropping a car wheel on it (a lightweight alloy one too!). Shows how little you can trust the polystyrene affairs for any real clash with something larger than yourself, but they should be ok for basic knock/falling off protection. So I went shopping yesterday at lunchtime to the Evan's cycles at London Bridge and got a new one. I'd not really found any I was that keen on at the local Halfords a few weeks ago when I went to look.

I decided to do it again today and I think I enjoyed it even more, as I knew how long it was going to take I didn't push myself so hard. I left a bit earlier and there were some almost pleasant moments on the more southern part of the journey on the A3, particularly around Clapham Common. Yesterday I didn't know if the estimate was wildly out or not so I made more of an effort; although I didn't take the fastest route through the city, so it ended up taking the same time today.

We will see how long I keep it up for; it's easiy enough to buy another travelcard if I get too annoyed or the weather starts being regularly unpleasant enough.


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