I woke up Friday morning full of flu, not unusual in a house with 3 young children. Germs in our house may as well be seen as pets the amount of times they come back and invade. We seem to have an open invitation for them, Like Count Dracula once invited in?!
I digress, I woke up feeling poorly and an 18 mile cycle to work seemed a bit like embarking on a stage of the Tour de France with a small child sat on my chest. Having used the train before I thought "why not, seems a little like cheating but hey it’s not often?" We only have one car in our house, like many families in the recession and especially in the UK, the second car was scrapped once the MOT time arrived. In our case the mechanic took a cursory glance and said there is more chance of Seb Coe taking part in the 800m at next year’s Olympics that our car passing the MOT tests. It was scrapped!, I was bike bound and that is really how the story all started almost 2 years ago.
Anyway, I will get to the point in a minute!
The cycle to the train station in 5 miles either side so my journey to work is cut from 18 miles to 10 miles each way. This is how I convince myself it’s not cheating it just a small 30 minute rest in the middle.
My point however is not my illness, my shorter journey or even my lack of car but how good the trains are and how easy it is to commute between cities with your bike.
Many people I speak to are put off but the size of the journey, in my case the 18 miles. I work and live on the edge of both cities I commute to so the travel time is bigger than most would be. I believe if many more actually knew the benefits and how easy it was they too would consider commuting by train. Even if just in the summer when it is warm, sunny and quite glorious to be on a bike.
What are the benefits I can see?
1) Its cheaper than driving. If I take my car it costs £10 a day on petrol alone to travel the same journey.
2) No parking issues either side. You just hop on and hop off
3) You tend to always be able to get a seat as no one wants to sit where the bikes are? I have seen people standing in the isle when there are spaces where the bikes go. May be as it’s near the toilet I don't know but I have never had an uncomfortable journey yet
4) The bike gets to come with you. You no longer have to place it in a separate carriage.
5) Its greener (can't say i am huge eco warrior but none the less nice to know I am helping)
6) Its a hell of a lot healthier
7) Get rid of the days stresses. I have never real found driving my car allows you to do this
8) You get to meet people. If you like to chat to strangers it’s a good way to pass the time. Last winter i met some great people whilst sat on my 30 minute journey.
I would always advocate cycling the whole way. 18-20 miles is not really that far. However, for those of you who read this and think your mad, fine but why not consider the train. Even only once or twice a week. You'll get your recommended exercise, improve you physical and mental wellbeing and Bing so much brighter and more productive at work.
One thing i do suggest, make sure your employers have a show you can use. I run a leisure club so am very lucky with my facilities at work. Be fair on your colleague as well as not hampering your chances with the ladies and your boss!. No use being the star performer but smelling like a yeti!!
Trust me, when the snow comes its a great idea!!
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