Today my workplace had a Cycle To Work day to encourage people to use their bikes. My regular commute is a 15 minute walk, ten minute train journey and another five minutes of walking. It is about 11 miles to drive, but the traffic can be terrible and so it would not be much quicker. I have cycled home lots of times as you will have seen on Steem, but had never done the other way. I knew it was more uphill, but I knew I could manage it.
The weather has turned since the weekend and it is definitely cooler. I set off straight after breakfast. I usually ride around Letchworth on my way home, but took the direct route through the town centre as it cuts about a mile off the trip. The roads were not too busy, but I passed lots of people heading to the station. That was the main part of the journey on roads with the majority being on cycle paths. I did have a close encounter with a small dog that caused me to slam on my brakes. No-one got hurt. There is a long hill that I had been dreading, but it turned out to not be too bad. I had to squeeze past some cyclists who came the other way on narrow parts of the track and had to avoid some nettles.
I got to work in about an hour and was presented with a voucher for a coffee and cake at the canteen as part of the event. I headed straight for the shower block before going to my desk. I collected my coffee and muffin after lunch and used my new coffee mug to cut the waste. The company also hired a 'bike doctor' to do basic servicing. I left my bike with him, but he did not find anything wrong with it. I had pumped up the tyres and oiled the chain the night before.
I have just logged the outward journey on @exhaust. I had wondered if I was going to ride home as it rained quite heavily through the afternoon. Luckily it had just about stopped by the time I wanted to go. That did mean a few puddles and my legs got muddy. I let a couple of younger guys pass me at one point, but was able to keep up with them until they turned off. Coming through Letchworth I got a little confused when I tried a different way and then could not pick up the path I wanted, but I knew another way through town that mostly avoided the main roads with some downhill runs along back streets. Just have to be careful there as there are lots of parked cars. The rain held off all the way home and I did the journey slightly quicker than the morning even though it was a little longer. Those downhills really help the average speed.
I would hope I am getting a little fitter through these rides. I am not looking to go racing, but I would like to find a little more speed. I am not sure I could match a colleague who did a 170 mile charity ride on the Chiltern Way at the weekend. He took under 17 hours to do that. He does do a lot of triathlons, so his fitness is much better than mine.
I am thinking I will try more days of cycling both ways. I may do that on Fridays when I would ride home anyway. I have a season ticket for the train, but missing the odd day is no big deal.
The geeky guitarist and facilitator of the 10K Minnows Project.