Less is more…

The thing I love about cycling is how it’s reconnecting me with my surroundings.

You may think this sounds corny, but in all honesty, although I’ve never driven much in the city (even when I owned a car), even when using buses, trains etc I never had the chance to ‘feel’ my surroundings: the wind, rain, sun etc. By bike I am learning more and more to appreciate simplicity in the everyday things. If I need to get to my destination by a precise time I will leave my house 10min earlier, hop on my bike and reach my destination ‘sans problème’: on time, without being affected by possible traffic jams and while enjoying sight-seeing of my everyday neighbourhood.

As I shop by bike, I buy the food we actually need and eat. Not having a car boot to fill I am not drawn to the “3 for 2″  offers when I actually need only 1 anyway (of whatever thing I am buying). How many times have you found a lettuce at the bottom of your fridge, all manky, because you’d forgotten you had it? Well, it used to happen to me lots!

Similarly to food, I have slowly but surely been reducing my shopping consumption of clothes and shoes. Lately, in an effort to move away from consumerism even more I have been inspired by a fair few people out there, but especially by this lady and her blog Ms Wanda’s Wardrobe. She has vouched not to buy ‘new’ clothes for a year, unleashing her love of vintage and charity shops finds! I decided to take up this challenge too. I see it as a fun and creative way to try and hopefully show that we don’t need to buy so much stuff while still being happy.

There’s such a misconception that buying less equal being miserable and boring. But I am so glad there’s been a revival of crafts, hand made, make-and-mend etc, as trying to move away from consumerism has never been more fun and there’s no more the risk of looking dorky, yay! Plus, surely there can only be positive things if we move away from accepting and relying on cheap clothing, because the higher price we pay is other people’s poor standards of living. Not a price worthwhile to be paid.

So, I have to thank cycling, which has certainly made me grow as well as develop a clear understanding of Newton’s “every action has a reaction”, which is affecting, positively, other parts of my life.

Soooooo, this is what I wore yesterday, in the windiest day I’ve cycled in so far. The gusts of wind were so strong and so unpredictable I got quite scared on a section of Upper Brook Street (before it becomes multiple lanes) where I got sandwiched between parked cars and moving cars and the wind kept pushing me onto the moving cars. Sometimes it’s not worth the risk you know?! I much preferred getting off the bike and walking it on the pavement for a few hundreds metres till I got to a safer spot, then I rejoined traffic.

All in all I was out and about in town from 11am till 9pm, and my bike was essential… goodness know how much I would have spent on transport if I had to go places by buses or tram!

I wore a linen skirt with woolly tights and boots. No matter how wet it is out there, tights keep you warm and dry out very very quickly. Layered tops keep you warm, but if you get too warm you can always shed a layer :) simple! *I can’t help but do the meerkat style sound in my head every time I say this, ops!*

The purple top was bought in a small shop in Didsbury last summer, really reduced in price only because it had lost its button and some stitching had come loose. The shop owner told me the price was due to customers seeing the garment as a hassle… What? Sewing a button? Yep! I am no sewing queen but that took me 15min to put right and I felt like I saved a garment from being chucked away…

Anyway, on my cycle home around 9pm the wind had calmed down leaving way to a crisp, chilly evening… perfect for a cycle ride home! Was nice and warm when I arrived, after my 20min cycle!

 

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10 responses to “Less is more…

  1. I have the same problem with Upper Brook Street! The wind always seems to catch me and push me out into the traffic, but a taxi driver pushed me into the kerb when I was waiting at a traffic light. I prefer the adjacent route along Carmoor Road.

    • It is disheartening isn’t it when simple things like road courtesy is unthinkable by other road users. Tonight I nearly got knocked off my bike by two lycra cyclists… made me really sad… we can’t even help each other within the cycling community :(

      I’ve found a way that is not so scary, although a bit labyrinth-like, I’ll show you sometimes!

  2. I’ve really enjoyed this post!!
    I know exactly what you are saying because I feel the same.
    I started to eat healthier and to be less consumist (is that the word?) since I’ve restarted riding my bike. I also enjoy the weather and the seasons in a new way. And I absolutely love all that! Thanks my bike ;)
    P.S: I think you look gorgeous on this outfit. Really cycle chic ;)

    • Thank you very much for your kind words! I heard from other friends, who also cycle, how they love that their bike makes them rediscover forgotten simple life pleasures… perhaps it’s a little secret world we share :D

      I’d use the word ‘consumeristic’ although I am not sure it’s really grammatically correct (can anyone else help here?) but I know where you’re coming from as in Italian I’d say ‘consumista’, is it similar in Spanish?

      • Yep, both in Spanish and Catalan is ‘consumista’. But I can’t find the translation in English.
        Although it’s not a big problem, I take ‘consumeristic’ as you’ve said :)
        Thanks!

  3. Re: consumeristic/consumista – that our economies depend so much on people being in debt is pretty manic isn’t it? That people are encouraged to spend there way out of the credit crunch – it’s crackers – all part of the same big messy picture, and isn’t it nice to try & operate outside of its boundaries whenever we can, just to see if we’re the mad ones (or is it everybody else?!)

    In many ways it can be difficult – but following the herd 100% is miserable & boring – breaking out into a jog & even if only occasionally, legging down a different path from what everybody else is walking down is 110% interesting. And if it works then great, you’ve learned something valuable :>)

    P.S: Great post!

    P.P.S: Still haven’t thought of a word for your brunch – maybe incorporating something along the lines of Camaraderie into the title may be the perfect antidote to your brush with the two bad sports today.

    • oh, very difficult… we are all human and after, say, a crap week I’d happy to empty my wallet looking for a quick pick-me-up. But, again it’s corny I know!, a drink with friends, a nice cooked meal goes a loooong way compared to a quick dash into a shop… it’s hard but I think really worthwhile… like you said, helps you to learn something valuable.

      “Brunch for comrade cyclists” ; ) mmmhhh… realised how ‘red’ it sounds – not that I’d mind but it may put people off lol!

      How about using the more american term of bicycling?? Like “Bicyclists who brunch”… that would differentiate from cycling people who race (rather that get from A to B)…

      Mmmhhh… I am still thinking…. I may open it up to the blog and ask for suggestions :D

      But I like the idea of a monthly get together… open to all, with whole families, to celebrate the bike as transport :)

  4. I am echoing what others said: great post! I think all of us who have started riding a bike as a way to get around can identify with those benefits you’ve listed. Especially the being forced to buy less as you’re out and about: there is only so much that can fit on your bike. It’s kind of an eye-opening experience when I think about how I used to mindlessly pick things up just because I could and because they could easily go into my car.

    S.

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