Monday, 9 January 2012

The Winter B-Icycle Challenge

January came abruptly knocking on our doors last week with that super strong, rainy wind ready to blow any cyclist or pedestrian into the clouds. This was not the weather to leap out of bed and hop onto your bike for! And for once, it was a time when the underground looked appealing with it's warm temptations of dry, muggy air and sardine tin carriages. And I am happy to say that I resisted this wicked invitation of a rain/wind free commute last week in the name of DEDICATION!  

I haven't told you yet but last May I decided to cycle to work every day whatever the weather. What a wonderful resolution to make in the summer eh!  And now that the turbulent winter weather is upon us,  it is testing my commitment to the max (aka third gear on my bicycle).

In these dark days, nothing helps more than a little solidarity and encouragement. Apart from foolish optimism over soggy chocolate Ready Brek in the mornings with comments such as  'I'm sure it's not as bad as it looks...', I discovered that others have also pledged to cycle whatever the weather in winter through the wonders of Twitter (follow me!).

Yes my friend, I would like to introduce you to the B-ICYCLE CHALLENGE. This challenge has been put to all northern Hemisphere bicyclists by two ex-pats who live in Beijing, Monica Tan and Emily D'Ath. They challenge people to ‘keep on pedalling through all three winter months’ and  to ‘not put your bike away for hibernation’.. Ok, so we have already had one month of winter, but it’s not too late to pledge your allegiance!  There are a few exceptions to the challenge, for example if the roads are dangerously icy or you are too sick to ride or your destination is more than an hour away.

Tan and D’Ath fathomed that people may find this pledge difficult to stick to, so they cite such motivating reasons of encouragement to do the challenge such as to live a greener life and it's a good opportunity to reflect about people who don't have homes during winter.

 So I thought about this long and hard and thought of my own personal reasons of encouragement:
  • Post-Christmas-No-Money syndrome. No money for public transport and increase transport fares in London (Many thanks Boris!)
  • Got to shift that layer of Cranberry Jam from your belly somehow!
  • If you didn't cycle during the winter you would miss seeing such gems like a fellow cyclist battling to get his foot out of a flying bin.
  • You get the ultimate satisfaction of (hopefully) surviving  your journey with some parts of your body still dry.
Contemplating whether to put Waitrose bags over my feet for my rainy commute whilst sipping tea like it's the last drink I'll ever have isn't the kind of glamour I was expecting in my twenties, but I am pleased that I survived natures assault last week, kicking off my BI-CYCLE CHALLENGE with a vengeance. And if the weather is extremely dire on your ride and you need a little distraction whilst cycling along, you can always play count how many dumped Christmas trees you can see…

Or alternatively you can think of me cycling round with my big finger poking out my glove-

Click here for more details and to make your pledge to the BI-CYCLE CHALLENGE! Remember, If the weather looks horrific, really I'm sure it's not as bad as it looks...


Amanda O'Dell said...

My pledge to myself was that if I could keep cycling until Christmas, then I'd have earned myself a new bike! The thinking was that if I could keep going when it was cold, wet and dark then I'd use a bike enough to warrant spending half-decent money on it. I managed it, and was glad to get back into my routine once I was back at work, but the really strong wind last week was just a bit too much and I was seriously worried about injury rather than plain discomfort, so I did take one day off! That one day on the bus though was enough to remind me of why I don't want to take that option if I've got another choice :-)

Am now on the prowl for something shiny and new...

Chris said...

I've promised myself to ride as much as I can this winter, although it hasn't been a bad winter at all, in terms of weather (counting my lucky stars, of course). But I also have a folding bike, so if I ride to work and the weather is really bad when it's time to go home, I fold the bike and take it home on the bus. At least that way I can still ride in the morning again if it's cleared up.

Johnny Cheese Bowl said...

Why do you refer to your index finger as your 'big finger'?

donna42 said...
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Vicki said...

I wish I could smuggly post that I had made a great start to January and cycled to work every day, alas.... I have made 6 days so far!

However, I'm pleased to say your blog has inspired me and like all the best things in life I'm going to add my own spin......I promise to cycle as often in the Winter as I do in the Summer! The Summer also has it's 'cycling escuses' (drinks in beer garden straight from work /flying ants)

Here is to dreary British weather, without which our countryside wouldn't look so beautiful, but our hands would be a lot warmer!

Jemma said...

@Amanda O'Dell I hope you find the perfect new bike! Good treat!

@Chris The wonders of a having a fold up bike! The best thing is that if you have a puncture you can just hop on public transport to take you home too!

@Johnny Cheese Bowl I always thought that it was my big finger, but my boyfriend is adamant that it is an index finger. It;s big in my eyes :-)

Jemma said...

Oh and Vicki, it's true, I forgot that like winter, summer also comes with it's very own difficulties. Flying ant day last year was NOT fun! Good luck cycling!

maillot de bain pas cher said...

Malheureusement, jusqu'ici, je n'ai pas du vélo, je me suis dit d'apprendre à faire du vélo, suffisante pour garantir que passé la moitié de l'argent décent.

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