Cycling… everywhere

I ride everywhere, anytime, any weather… over these last couple of years, one experience at a time, I learnt what works, clothes wise, and what doesn’t. I don’t need specialised clothes, because… there’s no need for them if you use a bike as transport*.

What I haven’t done yet, and I am entering my year 3 of regular cycling, is cycle to an important ‘event’… such as a work meeting or a job interview.

[I cycle to site meetings though and that’s fun as it throws everyone else out of their comfort zone, i.e. comparing pay packets by what car they drive ah!]

But few days ago I had that opportunity: a rather important meeting, the make of which would have meant the go ahead of a project or the death of it… a churning stomach was an understatement of my physical condition… but as I pondered about sitting on a bus and making my nerves worse or cycling, wearing ‘good lookin’ clothes’ (to paraphrase my good friend P.), I opted for the last option, I thought “I’ll take it nice and slowly”.

How glad was I! I did take it nice and slowly, rode with one less layer plus my beloved old denim jacket and when I arrived at my destination I made sure to get there a good 15min earlier to catch my breath, put my smart jacket back on and off I went.

And the result… the meeting was a success! I think partly because I was rather calm after the ride and with a good boost of self-confidence (cycling endorphins anyone?) and the mere act of cycling to that meeting got me brownie points… bien sûr!

Below: what I wore… to give you an idea that you can cycle in any clothes you fancy (apologies for the glamorous wheelie bin in the background).

*Nothing takes a way that using a bike for sport as a cardio work out is also good for you. But I wouldn’t want to do that if I am simply going to meet friends or commuting to work. All I am saying is… ‘there’s another way’.

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9 responses to “Cycling… everywhere

  1. I cycled to an interview at a school a couple of years ago. The large and crowded car park had no cycle racks, and when I asked at reception I was told there weren’t any. I saw one child’s bike padlocked to a sapling near the main entrance. The school was built in 2007 and has about 1200 pupils.

    The glossy school brochure which began with the usual crass and pompous mission statement. This was followed an equally awful statement of environmental responsibilty which included a desire to encourage both students and staff to think carefully about how their personal choices impact on the planet.

    • Unfortunately it doesn’t surprise me. I don’t know what school it was or what contract was used to get it built, but if it was built using one of the most popular contracts of lately (being 2007 and holding 1200 pupils) it was probably driven by cost – i.e. budget targets and so on – and I know from experience that often stumbling blocks are hit and the ‘extras’ are the first to go, forgetting the bigger picture and ending up with one of those empty, meaningless environmental statement as the one you describe… sad and utterly frustrating because, believe me, I would not be surprised if the design team, who designed that building, actually wanted it to match the school’s environmental statement.

      Hope you had better experiences of schools that do implement their environmental statements 🙂

      • I’m not sure budget constraints are the real cause. When it comes to endless meetings in London, meaning first class trains and expensive hotels, dubious conferences and other costly extras, council staff
        responsible for new school builds are not known for frugality.

        Many new builds have wasted money on all sorts of things – comfy sofas for marble adorned reception areas, open plan areas for exercise equipment and computer which are quickly scrapped because of poor behaviour are just some things I’ve come across.

        I suspect the poor provision for cyclists at many new builds is quite simple. Nobody ever gave them a thought in the first place. Grander visions were being enjoyed.

  2. I’m not a very girly type, but, I do cycle to nursing meetings during the day with my favourite skinny tie, jacket and oxfords. My only worry is that eventually my right ‘best’ shoe will wear more quickly than my left, as that’s the foot I hook the pedal round with and push off from 🙂 I’m sure the pootle to work leaves me far more even-tempered for a few hours of management red-tape than ever driving a car would. Perhaps it should be mandatory that diplomats on peace-seeking missions should cycle to the meetings?

    • That would be fantastic… imagine if some head of state had cycled to his press conference back 10 years ago… perhaps a boost of oxygen to his thinking powers (well… ‘powers’ may be an overstatement) could have spared us a war?

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