Cycle to Work Day and I urge you to join 16,000 people who are cycling to work, even if it is only the day this year you do so. Paralympic patron Sarah Storey shown [R]. The folks who have signed up so far this year cycle an average to 15 km on their commute which saves the planet 50 tons of CO2, and their pockets about £100,000. They also have some aerobic exercise, which if done regularly will give them fitter hearts and lungs, mightier thighs, knotted calves and a longer life. In my Dublin days, I used to do a round trip of about 25km on my beautiful pink bike and, before I was whacked off it by an inattentive car-driver, we had cycled 40,000km (=1 Earth-girth!) together. I'd had some near misses before the end and a sense of virtue and weaving and jinking happiness that persists in memory to this day. I had a lot of my best ideas while cycling to and from work and debugged a lot of niggles and errors in the terrible Fortran code I wrote back then. The great thing about cycling to work is that it makes the journey part of the day rather than an annoying and frustrating dead-time interlude between home and work.
I have just once cycled to my present place of work and back, when the only car we owned lost its gear-box 50 miles from home and I had to teach class at The Institute. Luckily I was given several hours notice and it was a nice day in early Summer because we live at a height of 230m about 40 km and 190 vertical meters from work. It was okay going down to work, but on the way back in the evening, my legs were so wobbly that, not only could I not cycle up the barest incline, I was hardly capable of pushing the bike uphill either. I'm sure if I did it regularly, it would get easier; but even so 80km a day is a bit on an ask for an old buffer like me.
I can't afford a car and the one between his feet says please give generously. I'm sure this will encourage his colleagues. Car use is insidious and madly expensive when you take into account all the costs and reflect that on an average day it spends 23/24ths of its life doing nothing except costing you money. It is just bonkers that our anxiety and desire for 'independence' and 'instant gratification' should induce us all to own one. If you own two cars, you should feel really guilty: you can only expiate your guilt by getting off your (capacious) arse and pedalling to work. Go to!