I’ve written before about the need to plan ahead a bit when cycle commuting, especially if (like me) each commute could be to one of a few different locations.
Now that I have taken the plunge and sold my car though, the need for planning is even more important. With one car for the family, which is needed most days by my wife for running the kids around, the option to just jump in the car has disappeared.* Car driving friends are full of such cautionary, critical advice as “Oh, it must be really difficult having just one car”. Well no it isn’t, not at all - it is a wonderful and liberating experience! You just have to be smart about it.
A simple week is, well, simple really. If I am in the same office for five days running (which happens but not too often), all of the heavy kit (lapdog etc.) can be left there and I cycle pretty light. Once things get more complex than that, I have to think around the issues a bit. What I’ve found though is that I’m becoming less afraid to ask people for help. I have a number of workmates who live nearer to the office than me and cycling to their house for a lift in makes a heavy day (or one that starts at a train-unfriendly time) much easier. I don’t need to do it that often, but it’s nice to have the option there if required.
I think that as a race, we humans have become more and more insular, suspicious of others and self-absorbed. Hardly anyone asks for help these days (maybe it’s seen as a weakness?) but I find to do so genuinely humbling. All the more so when you then find out how generous and happy-to-help people really are. For centuries, monks and nuns of every denomination have known that to live for a spell in poverty, dependant on the goodwill of others is rich development for the spirit. I’m not planning to go that far, but the principles work on a small scale too.
I knew that cycling to work would benefit my health and cost less. I never expected it to be so good for my soul. J
|And in response to the comment about a lack of pictures, here's a gratuitous |
"waiting at the train station" picture of my beloved Dahon. How's that for client-focused? :-)
*As a side note, my wife has mentioned that she’d also like to cycle now and again when taking the kids to school. We live a little bit out of it in a village and school is a good four miles each way. However, my older two kids ride competently and my wife would pull our youngest along on the trail-gator. Excellent stuff! I doubt we could ever go totally car-free – I wouldn’t want to as they are very useful for certain things but cutting back bit by bit can only be a good thing. In even the smallest way, being personally fitter and less dependent on the volatility of oil prices and fuel taxation has to be an all-round win!