Life has completely changed at La Maison de BikeVCar. With my wife returning to work after her 6 months maternity leave I decided to capitalise on the relatively new UK legislation that allows fathers to take additional paternity leave and share the duty of childcare. Which has meant an end to my arduous bike & car commute to Chippenham.
As they say, you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. And despite the strenuous complications of driving to Bath with the bike in the boot and then cycling the final 18 miles to work, there was a paradoxical simpleness of just doing the same thing every day.
But with my internal body-clock still adjusted to waking at silly-o’clock, I have now begun a new regime of cycling or running at dawn a few times a week. However, unlike commuting by bike which satisfied my physical need to exercise while still serving a useful purpose in getting me to work; my new ‘regime’ feels exactly that – some sort of system of regulated exercise designed to make you fit. This is all well and good if you are “in training” for something or other, but when your rides are a reminder that you’re nowhere near as fit as you used to be, you begin to miss those commuting rides where you could just zone-out and blame the loaded panniers as the reason for going so slowly.
The recent weather has been extraordinarily good in England for this time of year. Blue skies and sun with no real memory of the last time it rained. However as a reminder that it’s still April the mornings have been bitterly cold. In the last week I brought the carbon fibre bike out of hibernation and have been riding the country lanes and remembering how fast I used to be.
Fortunately today’s ride provided a silver lining to my unfit cloud when I realised I had improved in my ability to descend. It was nice to be able to prove the scientific fact that when combined with gravity, an increase in mass results in an increase in speed. It may be some time before I’m ascending at anything that resembles ‘speed’. Next project – Harptree Woodworks