Why do I ride, and how do I ride?
I ride for a number of reasons.
Predominantly for fitness. I have been regularly cycling for the past 5 years after almost 20 years of slobby inactivity. Just to put the record stright though, in that time I was riding sports motorbikes, skydiving, gliding, surfing, and climbing. I was active, just doing nothing that picked up the heart rate.
I cycle to give myself a hobby, something to do to keep me out of trouble.
I also do it to save money. My commuting fuel bill was about £15 - £20 a week. Since August 2008 I have put about £60 in the car - just over £1 a week. I have gone from a fuel bill of between £750 - £1000 per year to about £52 a year. I am now looking to sell my car and organise my life without one.
I suppose I also do it to be bloody minded, as I work with colleagues who poke fun at me for riding, so I like to prove them wrong that it can be done.
How I do it is a different kettle of fish. I ride defensively 95% of the time, ever watchful for the next cager to give me a 6 inch flypast at 60, or for the dreaded moment when I wonder if the artic rapidly approaching has actually seen me?
Only 3% of my rides (almost 3000 miles this year) have been what I could call enjoyable. Those 90 miles (3%) have been on cycle paths off the road, dedicated traffic free zones, where I felt I could relax and enjoy the sport I love.
And that is from a keen cyclist. No wonder it is so hard to convert people, when a regular cyclist spends more time watching his back, than appreciating the ride.