Big wheel non Brompton post.
This will happen occasionally I have more than one bike and I love them equally.
This month of September I hope to ride to work every day.
If I can achieve this over the course of the month I will cover 382m.
What with the odd weekend ride out I hope to bring this to up to 400m.
I am extremely privileged as I live very near to the Worth Way, this is an abandoned railway line that has been resurfaced for Walking Cycling and horses. It makes up part of route 12 of the National Cycle Network and runs between East Grinstead and Three Bridges.
There is nothing to complain about with the exception of the fact its mostly up hill on the way home.
There are Dog walkers and non Dog walkers and there was a speed walker, I miss him. But these are nothing to complain about, like my self they have every right to be there, I compare it to how a car driver may feel when stuck behind a bike then unlike some cars I slow down even more and appreciate that “any time lost” is laughable.
I now go so slow past them that I have started up conversations!
The track is mostly fine gravel with some spots of bigger loose stone like gravel, I would feel nervous taking a Brompton with Kojaks down there but I’m sure it will make it.
Its great fun in the wet. I’m one of these odd balls that likes bad weather, that way everyone can be as miserable as me on a sunny day.
My commute is made up of;
- 95% of my commute is off road and traffic free.
- 3% is on demented dismount cycle lanes, but cycle lanes none the less
- 2% on roads
I am incredibly lucky not only because the route I have to enjoy but the fact that I work for a huge company, who despite treating me as a faceless low grade low risk entity provides facility’s such as;
- Changing rooms
- Lockers and Drying cabinets
My husband also works at the same company (and does not treat me like a low grade low risk entity) he takes the role as my pack horse bringing my bag to work for me so all I have is the bike and a Camelbak.
Why does he not cycle you ask?
Unlike me my husband likes saving his energy for his work. He has been thinking about it for a while but there is never the right time and to be honest I think the 2% road is the reason.
We also have our son who goes to Nursery; I could take him on the bike but with his 18KG weight and the ability to nod off and head but me in the back could be hard work especially on the hills. Yes, it does sound like excuses doesn’t it!
The 2% road is also rather hairy, there’s a nasty junction to get across at three bridges, unloaded I can keep up with the cars just fine. If my son was with me I don’t think I could keep up as well and would cause someone to lose my rag with me because they would be under the impression for the <10 seconds I am slowing them down I would make them >20 minutes late for work. What with the little one behind me I can’t allow that and would have to trolley him along on the pavements.
But what with cycle to work week coming up I am having some fantasies about us doing it as a family. At least one day.
So far 87 miles covered today (9th September) I hope will be my first and last bad day. The 2% road and the 4th car to pass me for approx 8 miles tried to take me out for the exact reasons stated above the <10 second delay = >20 minute loss syndrome.
Spent the whole day crying which goes down well in a male dominated environment (To be read as sarcasm, all were very supportive, I was more embarrassed for being a wreck all day).
The family ride I was fantasizing about is well and truly out of the window.
Plus the rear wheel bearings are starting to crunch signalling time for a new wheel.
The ride home sorted me out despite the crunching of the rear real and the chain coming off, I hope to complete the month as planned.
Physical exercise such as this plus my medication helps me manage my mental health issues. This works incredibly well until of course my life is threatened and the fight or flight response is activated.
Wish me luck.