This week is worringly my third anniversary of an employment period I was absolutely not going to extend past the first twelve months. It is also my fourth winter commuting by bicycle, although the frequency has dropped from four times a week to once a month. Assuming I can be arsed to ride that often.
Which I should as it is now far easier then when I was playing with the traffic in London. The bike friendly train company solves the logistics puzzle of two bikes for one journey. No longer is my commute tediously extended by a half clothed dash between buildings in order to abandon grubby steed, grab a shower and finally trudge over to my place of work.
And this is the first Yuletide period I’m no longer convinced every motorist secretly wants a dead cyclist for Christmas. Riding the Kona is fast, fun, and almost entirely without a high ratio of traffic cockage. So I can only explain my rubbish commuting statistics to a combination of the lazy bastard gene and a nice car parked outside.
Two weeks ago, I made a determined effort to greet the frosty pre-dawn blackness with a powerful light and slightly weaker legs. The lightening sky promised one of those perfect autunmnal mornings with a low sun bathing the countryside in soft glowing rays. I nerver got to see that once my new light comically dived into the bushes, and left me making a speedy – if terrifyingly dark – progress down the biggest hill of the commute.
Five minutes of searching for the remains proved conclusively a rear light maketh not a useful torch. I slunk home, hit the shower and grumped workwards into the car. It’s taken me all this time to raise the enthusiasm to try again. And the faint hope of a repeat sunrise was dashed by the kind of drizzle that doubles suicide rates.
First I was too cold, then too hot, then a bit frightened on dropped bars and wet roads. It was one of those mornings where getting on with it distills simply into counting the alternatives, and finding none.
But then days like this remind me that the choice is really between being dry and warm now or fit and fast come spring. And with a 1000 feet of climbing on silly racing ratios, even one or two twenty five mile commutes a week are going to put me firmly in the second category.
And even when it’s all gone a bit dark and horrible, there’s always a guilt free bacon sandwich to look forward to. Or possibly two – this kind of physique doesn’t come without sacrifices!