Falling in Love with the Commute

Falling in Love with the Commute

It's not until the most seemingly 'mundane' and repetitive things in life are taken away, before we begin to appreciate them... (how much are you missing the pool right now?) In that respect, the humble commute to work, might rank quite high.

In the 'new world' even the simplest of activities can relinquish a new sense of pleasure. During 'lockdown' Team Huckson's Karle Howard is finding new form - regularly riding 200-250 km each week, amassing over 4500km, including Zwift! 

A man, with time (on the bike) to ponder, he a reached out and shared his ramblings. Over to you Karle:

Howard in Team Huckson

It is strange how things that we take for granted and lifestyle choices that we make can come under scrutiny at, what seems recently, a moments notice. Take my journey to work for example, around 5-6 years ago I embarked, almost daily, on a suburban 10 mile commute to work on my bike – granted when it was really chucking it down or blowing a gale I may have ducked out, who doesn’t sometimes!

Commute Scene

Did I enjoy it? Mostly yes. Then come the season change into Spring and Summer I found myself extending my journey out into the countryside (I even found a few Strava segments to target) My job location then changed significantly and I inevitably found myself climbing into my little box on wheels and then following a slither of tarmac, with its ever-changing speed limits, to my new place of work. The most exciting moments were when I got to the small amount of dual carriageway and could then overtake the regular Argos or Asda articulated truck as I had timed my drive to perfection.

Bike frames

Fast forward to a few weeks back, and yes, I was still driving in, albeit a different, and shorter, route but I was still getting stuck in queues behind farm traffic (this is a rural area after all), traffic lights, roadworks and the infamous Bascule Bridge. The race season had just started and after a good winters training, thanks to Doug @race_offroad, I was looking forward to getting into full on race mode. Then the country was hit by covid-19 and everything changed.

Howard in shed
This was the impetus I needed to resurrect the commute. The winter bike was prepared for battle and I started the 32 mile round trip.
The sun was up and the sky was, mostly, blue as I headed each morning out to a stone’s throw from the most easterly point of the UK. I replaced the Tuesday and Thursday, infamous, Jazz S&C Sessions with a training partner for the commute, and they cycled out to meet me and we would ride in through the countryside chewing the fat and discuss what the day may bring, along with what the previous day had. This was great, easy and social miles on a fasted stomach. Then we were hit with the social distancing and staying at home. I still needed to travel in to work but have continued to ride in, alone.
Bike against scenery

The journeys have been a time to reflect and ponder on how much has changed. How much we take for granted. How we expect our daily routine to be.

What I have noticed is the wind in my face and it appears to blow in all directions that I ride! How many of our roads feel bigger and safer without so many vehicles on them. The scent of the fields and fauna. The sound of the birds and other wildlife. The number of wild primroses in the hedgerows. How much better and full of life I feel when I get into the office. These are the things that we should be noticing and we should be experiencing and talking about.

On bike

Yes, I love to compete and get my race head on, but during these times I am blissfully happy to ride in and enjoy my surroundings, without having a nod to what my power output should be or what zone my heart is beating at. Let’s take this time to reflect, to look at what we have become and what our actual priorities are.

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Follow Karle's caffeine fuelled adventures on Instagram @howardcarlos_raceoffroad. Huge respect and thanks to Karle for adorning his enviable bike collection with Huckson decals. We're huge fans of your work!

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