Keep going, it gets easier
Deep statement warning: Fear is far more powerful in anticipation than in reality. But jumping on a bike isn't scary.
18 months ago the furthest I had ever been on a bike might have been 5 miles. The need to find something to keep me active led me to thinking about riding a bike. The Cycle to Work scheme gave me the means to get a shiny new bike. And the consistency of cycling a little more each week got me to commuting 25 miles each way into work in London.
After a lifetime of pretty much doing whatever I wanted with my body, as soon as I hit the age of 40 my body decided enough was enough. My back was the first to decide retirement was a good option. From playing football once a week to running 3 times a week – I literally couldn’t run at all.
So I got a bike on the cycle to work scheme. Even that bit of the journey was hard (more on this later), but once successfully navigated I have been learning and experiencing new things ever since.
3 months into getting my new bike my friends asked me if I wanted to cycle to Newbury. Yes of course. Doh. 80 miles each way and my first experience of a boink and I had ridden further than I ever thought possible.
Not long after that I got up the courage to ride into work in London. 25 miles each way and on either side of a full day at work – not easy, but incredibly satisfying.
The dreaded coronavirus has given many of us reasons to pause, take stock and consider taking up things we didn’t have time or motivation for before.
Experiencing the joy of riding is one of those. On slightly quieter roads, the ability to experience bird song and the gentle brush of wind in your ears is indescribably peaceful - a place for mindfulness like no other.
I wanted to use this blog to share my experiences and potentially help you make the choice to make riding a part of your life.
Getting groceries, blowing out the energy building up in teenage children, safely getting into work, exercising, clearing your head or just seeing the country in a different way than before. There are so many reasons to ride – and the only thing that prevents it is the choice.
I hope to share some of my experiences, what I learnt and the mistakes I made over 18 months, giving you the confidence to cycle further. And if you're already on that path, please share your ideas and advice on our Facebook community.
Let’s reclaim the roads and tracks, because the more of us riding the better. Nothing beats the ride.