Inertia can be a powerful thing – especially at 6.30 am! The idea of cycling is one thing, but the reality of waking up early when you’re tired and facing a 12.5 mile ride can be somewhat different. The fact that I almost always feel great after just a few minutes on the bike is neither here nor there – it’s that first hurdle that needs overcoming. I’m now finding that a bit easier after not just more regular riding of my commute, but also after some reading, not to mention watching the Tour de France recently.
The motivation has really come from the latter two things. The Tour de France was absolutely incredible – seeing those riders putting in the number of hours and covering the distances they did was positively awe inspiring – never mind the speed they were travelling!
I’ve also been able to download some cycling books onto my Kindle, the latest of which is “Be brave, be strong: a journey across the Great Divide” by Jill Homer. The Great Divide of the title is the Rockies, and her journey was not so much across as along the length of them in a race that started in Canada and finished in Mexico a mere 2,740 miles later. And if you think that’s tough enough, let me add that virtually the whole of this race was off road going on tracks through the wilds. I loved the book and I have huge admiration for the author… as well as thinking that she’s completely bonkers for some of what she got up to (like starting the race for instance). I’m also profoundly grateful that she did, not least because she wrote it all up in this wonderful, heartfelt, moving book which has also helped give me a kick up the backside. If I now wake up with a mental winge about cycling 12.5 miles to work, all I need to do is remind myself of Jill’s journey down the Great Divide. It’s also making me think of longer rides that I could be doing.
Commuting is great for keeping fit, losing weight and saving money, but there’s so much more that can be enjoyed on a bike – especially as I don’t drive a car. With Bob I can get out into the coutryside and see places that would be ridiculously hard to get to otherwise. Books like Jill’s are a great reminder of that there’s a wider world out there and can provide the assist to start looking at it and going there even if it is on a somewhat smaller scale.