There is something I quite like about cycling in adverse weather. Commuting, anyway. Deciding to go for a ride, for fun, when it’s dark/cold/raining/Gale Force 10 can be a tough one. But where commuting is concerned, I don’t give myself a choice. Luckily (if that’s the right word), for two and a half years I had no car and lived 8 miles from work, so cycling was the only option (the bus service here is next to useless). When the ride serves a distinct purpose, there is no other option, and getting fit is simply a bonus; the issue of motivation seems to evaporate. I would wake up, look out the window, and throw on the appropriate jacket. I never felt annoyed or anxious about the weather – what would have been the point? I remember cycling in torrential rain, and just laughing out loud; creeping through several inches of snow with my sister, taking it turns to capsize at comically low speeds. I remember the time a bat hit me smack in the eye; when it took me twice as long to get home because I was determined to rescue hundreds of migrating frogs from being squished by cars. The sheer joy of a bone dry road after months of wet, the relief as evenings grew lighter. Cycling every single day, regardless of conditions, often became a mini adventure – the same stretch of road never, ever seemed boring as I experienced the gradual, perpetual changing seasons on a daily basis. I was lucky to have such a pleasant, rural route to work; and that little breathing space at the beginning and end of each day, ‘me’ time when my mind could meander as it pleased, is something I only realised the true value of when it had gone. Now, after a break and several house-moves, I’m back to my 8-mile cycle commute. Despite bitter East winds and spatterings of snow, I couldn’t be happier.
This week I have been most grateful for: