The seasons are officially changing: the temperatures have dropped, I’ve come down with a severe case of the man-flu and my commute to work now begins in pitch-black darkness. There is no street lighting along any part of my ride so I’ve added some decent lights to the bike and bought a couple of high-visibility, reflective tops. I’ve also modified my route to stay off the busy and narrow stretches of road and now go along muddy and rutted back roads. Whilst this has slowed me, it has at least given my bike the chance to naturally develop its thick winter coat of grime to protect it from the harsh months ahead.
It’s at times like these that you need some motivational assistance to keep on riding and luckily I am not the only person at my work who rides every day. There are two of us, and despite arriving from opposite directions, it’s still good to have someone else who shares the same pleasures and pains of commuting by bike. Plus we’ve made a sportsman’s bet to see who can last the longest before resorting to driving. Last week we were both heading into the city after work on the same evening so we rode together, followed part of the way by another couple of guys in the ‘team car’ until they started to annoy other drivers and had to overtake us.
I think being realistic, once winter arrives I would like to ride three times a week and drive two. Daylight currently arrives midway through my journey in and the ride home is mostly sunny and fresh. But in another couple of months when it’s constantly cold and dark I can’t imagine getting much pleasure out of cycling – I just need to win that sportsman’s bet first.