Friday, 14 June 2013

Simple Rewards

Today I set my "driving" alarm when I intended to cycle into work. This meant I didn't get up early enough to cycle - no worries, Fridays are a noon finish at the moment. I planned to go for a ride in the afternoon instead.

We also needed some chicken for tea. We generally go to a wholesalers and stock up, so as the weather was looking good I would combine the two. My 20 litre rucksack is big enough for the packs of chicken so I got ready.

After a morning of sunshine, the rain started as soon as I stepped outside. Fairly typical! The ride to Sedgefield felt quick, I was really enjoying it as I was on a route I'd never been on before; or at least majority of it. I spent about 5-10mins at George Bolam's meat emporium, mainly faffing with Strava and music on my phone.

The ride home was much harder with 5Kg of chicken breast on my back! Nevertheless, it look me a similar time, despite going an alternative route.

I made it home just before my battery died, so my whole ride was captured. You can see this in the Strava widget in the right hand side bar, or by checking out all of my Strava activities on the tab at the top of the page.

After showering and getting changed I had that familiar feeling of accomplishment: rewarded with a hot shower, fresh clothes and feeling totally refreshed. I love this feeling after any exercise, whether it be cycling, running or football. It makes all the sweat and grimacing through the tough bits worthwhile! Tonight I also had the added reward of a meal made with some of the chicken I'd lugged around f for 12 miles or so. It was pasta and chicken breast in a pesto/cream/white wine sauce with onions and mushrooms. I don't if the dish has a proper name but it was delicious!

So simple things: a shower, clothes and food. On a typical day, these things generally don't get appreciated. But for me, after exertion, these are my rewards. I look forward to them as the routes winds it's way closer to home.

How about you? Do you reward yourself after cycling, or exercising in general?

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Support Sustrans' Cycling to Work campaign

"Support Cycling to Work: More and more people are desperate to get on their bikes but only 3% currently cycle to work. We are campaigning for a national cycle-to-work standard for all workplaces, to give everyone the choice of a smarter, healthier, cheaper commute."

The above quote comes from the Sustrans charity and is well worth signing.

I'm a firm believer that cycling to work results in a happier, healthier workforce. At least when I cycle into work, I'm happier and healthier (plus a little bit richer!)

I have calculated that:

So far I have done 47 commutes this year, so my bike is already paid for and I'm now saving money! (Focusing only on the bike purchase against fuel).

My bike was purchased by myself, not through a cycle to work scheme. I did try to get my company to enter into the scheme, but after much deliberation they decided it was not worth their while. Which is a shame, because there are maybe 6 or 7 bikes parked up in the rack on a good day. Had they participated in the scheme, the rack could be full, especially now that summer is here. Car parking is a problem at work, it really doesn't make sense that they made the decision they did.

As well as keeping fit, reducing congestion, helping the environment (albeit by a tiny amount), cycling to work can really help financially.

I also read this blog post yesterday from an American personal finance blog. Please have a read of it as it may be able to give you a better idea as to why bicycle commuting is a really great option.

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