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.
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...