Monthly Archives: October 2011

365 days

Today I have cycled 365 days in a row.

I have surprised myself, I am usually not very good at sticking to things on a regular basis.

So after one year of cycling everyday my conclusions are:

  • I am not going to stop here. It is now an absolutely normal part of my life to use my bike to get to places.
  • Cycling everyday does make a difference to the experience. The weather does not bother me as much, neither do hills or distances.
  • Cycling everyday makes it much easier to cycle everyday.
I highly recommend starting with a 30 day challenge to ride your bike everyday. Distance doesn’t matter, it will grow naturally over time.
I feel much healthier and am definitely much fitter, I have had fewer days off sick and felt better generally. Plus I have saved loads of money. Enough to have paid all I have spent on bikes and contribute a lot towards the purchase price (of bikes that will last years and years).
The cost benefit ratio is unbeatable! 🙂

The Wii test

Tonight was another Wii challenge for my new cargobox.

Turned out I could fit the following in two trips:

  • 3 x Wii’s
  • 3 x iPod Docking sound systems
  • 1 x 30W Guitar Amp
  • 1 x Wii Guitar Hero drum kit
  • 2 x Wii Guitar Hero Guitars
  • 1 x Xbox 360 inc Kinetic
  • 2 x LCD TV’s
  • 3 x Data Projectors
  • 1 x laptop
  • 1 x PC Speaker set (bass & 2 tweeters)
  • lots x cables (power, sound etc)
  • 2 x flip chart pads & lots of pens
  • misc stuff (plastic cups, AA battery charger, spare AA batteries, …)

That is without the box lid on.

Much quicker than a car as it is only 0.5 miles there. With the cargobike I open the fire exit and go right into the hall. With the car it is a problem as there are double yellow lines. If I park where it is legal I have to carry everything at least 50 metres.

The new box handles this a treat. I didn’t need any bungees as it holds everything securely.

First puncture compared to the alternative

So I have been in Syston serving the Leicester North Methodist Circuit for 1 year and 1 month. When I moved here I made a commitment to use only my bike for work within the Circuit (so far I have used a car for work once so I could get between two carol services in Rothley and Syston last Christmas).

Yesterday I had my first puncture that affected my work (I have had one slow picture but got home ok with it). Unfortunately, at the time I was rushing back from a meeting to take someone to a hospital appointment. So Jane came and met me in the car which meant I was not too late and we made the appointment in time.

One puncture in a 13 months does not seem too bad.

Especially when compared to the alternative.

That was made clear again this afternoon when I took someone to an appointment at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. Despite having a wheelchair and a disabled parking badge it was hopeless. Unsurprisingly the few disabled spaces at the main entrance were full with a car hovering waiting for a space to become available. The queue for the main car park was very long (past stories from visitors indicate it was at least 45minutes long). So I went past the queue and dropped my passengers off at the car park exit, leaving a couple in their mid 80’s to get themselves in while I found a space to park (which then cost ÂŁ4.30).

There are huge costs to us all from this ineffective transport system.

There is the cost in time of all that queuing. The hours lost to work as most of us now need 2 people to get 1 person to a hospital appointment (one for the patient and 1 for the car).

I wonder what the cost to our health and environment 70 odd cars constantly running their engines while queuing for a hospital is? The extra poison they put into the air outside a hospital can hardly be good for the patients and staff.

I wonder why so few in the UK realise how broken our transport system is.

The experiences of the Netherlands and Denmark surely demonstrate that by investing in a high quality cycle infrastructure we could cut road deaths (number 1 cause of death for children!!!), cut obesity, reduce sick days and surely make our hospitals easier places to get to and a safer place to be.

The cost compared to the many boondoggles (aircraft carriers, M25 widening, M1 widening, Trident, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, subsidies of arms sales, …) would not be a problem and the potential benefits are enormous.

Clergy leading the way

I was at a meeting of clergy from Churches in Rothley today.

Three of the four of us had cycled to the meeting.

The fourth had a good excuse – we met at his home 🙂

How many meetings does your employer manage with a zero carbon footprint? Maybe it is time for more people to copy the clergy 🙂

Choice is good :-)

In a few moments I am cycling to Birstall to lead their weekly Wednesday Holy Communion.

As I was thinking about the day I wondered which way to go and that led me to count the options.

There are 12 different routes that all make sense for cycling to Birstall from Syston. They don’t vary in length by more than a couple of hundred metres. They don’t vary in time by more than 5 minutes (although some are more suited to rushing if you are late).

The majority of them take me through Watermead Park, a lovely preparation for the day (also makes a good end in the evening).

There are only 2 routes if you go by car and neither is at all pleasant.

Some choices such as cycling not driving are easy 🙂 but which way shall I go today?

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