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:
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!
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.
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.
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 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.
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.