Well since Monday morning, I’ve not heard from my parents on their trip to Switzerland. As I have repeatedly stated from the outset, I know that the Dignitas clinic is in Switzerland. This is causing me serious concerns.
As you will be aware, Dignitas is the clinic that people go to in order to commit suicide. I am sure many of you would share my concerns about the situation with my aging parents heading off to Switzerland alone. It is something that has troubled me for some time now and I probably should have done something about it sooner.
I mean, my sister still lives in Co. Durham and would be able to asset strip the parental home before I could get there. This is troubling and very worrying to me.
MY CYCLING WEEK
Anyway, this week I decided it was time for me to start cycling more. I’ve been only cycling part time for too long. So, Monday morning I cycled into work, into a very strong headwind. That and my lack of fitness made for a very slow ride in to work. Fortunately, no one noticed I was not in as promptly as possible. The ride home was uneventful, well if you exclude the usual homicidal motorists, blind pedestrians and as for the motorcyclists…. the less said the better.
Tuesday – I had a meeting Tuesday afternoon that would finish too late for me to cycle home and still get to the Orient match that night, so I was reduced to travelling by public transport , so no cycling
Wednesday – I had to travel to 2 magistrates courts near where I lived, so was unable to cycle as had to arrive suited and booted. No cycling today
Thursday – As I type this, I am on the 0804 train to York from London Kings Cross. I had to sort out tickets etc. before getting on the train and so was at Kings Cross by 0740 this morning. If I had cycled, I would have had to leave home before 0600 to get to the office, shower and get to Kings Cross by 0740, so no cycling today.
Friday (tomorrow) – I am due to travel to Harrow Magistrates Court for 0930 tomorrow and would have to leave home at silly o’clock to get to the office changed etc. and on the train to Harrow for 0930. I am also travelling to Newcastle on Friday night, so will have my suit and weekend bag to take- hence no cycling tomorrow
Sat / Sun – I am in Newcastle and have no bike there- so no cycling.
Monday – I will be travelling again to York, so no cycling.
Tuesday-Friday – I will be out at courts everyday, so no opportunity to cycle.
So, as you can see my cycling regime is going well! It shows no signs of getting better either.
Cycling into work on Monday did bring some pleasure. I need to find ways to fit cycling back into my life. I should cycle to the shops again instead of driving there. I used to cycle to the shops, do errands on my bike and generally find ways to cycle most days. Now, I seem to be finding excuses – some more valid than others – not to cycle. Yes, its me being lazy. I need to get my finger out.
I did notice on Monday that there were lots of people cycling in London. The numbers seem to be up on previous years, even excluding those on the “Boris bikes” or should I say the Barclay’s Cycle Hire Scheme bikes ?
I think this year, at least in London could see a record number of people cycle commuting. The rising cost of fuel I think is playing a big role in this increase in cyclist numbers. As both fuel and tube/ train fares are rising faster than inflation, it is forcing people to rethink their finances. For example from zone 4 where I live into London, a travel card costs
This is serious money. I live approximately 9 –10 miles from the City of London and 12 miles from Westminster. This is roughly an hour’s ride each way, which is not much longer than by public transport, albeit you need to factor in time for showers etc. An extra £151.30 per month can get you a lot. It works out at around £35 per week extra to spend.
Additional savings can also be made. If you are cycling regularly to work, then there is no need to go to a gym to get fit. That can save between £40 and £100 at London rates per month. Also, you are saving on time as you are not having to find time to go to the gym, which with travelling, changing time, preparation etc. and exercising itself can easily take up to 2 hours a visit. So if you go 3 times per week, that can add up to 6 hours a week saved.
So, by cycling to work, you are getting fit and saving up to £250 per month. That saving could be reinvested in a new bike and new kit every year and still leave lots left over for other health things like alcohol and takeaways – well you need to replace the carbs!
Other factors increasing the attractiveness of cycling include the new cycling superhighways being introduced across London. These are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but are an improvement. They mainly consist it seems of blue painted cycle lanes on main commuting routes. The blue lanes are much wider than most standard cycling lanes, and there is better signage to tell motorists it is a cycle super highway. If nothing else, the wider lane is more pleasing as it makes for more room for cyclists on the road. There are flaws with the scheme, but I do not intend to dwell on these- well not in this post at least! This is a rant free post for now.