The road bike came out of the shed for a special appearance: my first commute in quite a while.
Ok, so it was just a couple of miles to my destination, my rucksack full of clothes and notepaper, some snacks and water. I was heading to a workshop taster session with ION Leadership on what mental toughness means.
Without a car and living in the countryside, it’s easy for me to feel restricted to my locality. And getting back on the bike is about more than just getting somewhere—for me it’s about getting over too many traumatic experiences with drivers who have left me with dents in my leg and dents in my confidence.
Starting off from the driveway, picking up the cadence, the wind flowing over my face, my legs like pistons, balancing, moving, I felt FREE!
Just as I did when I ran the West Highland Way in the late evening sunshine.
(It wasn’t all plain sailing/cycling, though. Just one vehicle, just one, not even one of the loud and clunky tractors or lorries, but a small black hatchback with a grotty engine sound reminded me that I’m not invincible as I pedal-powered to the workshop.
Just one mindless driver.
So I naturally responded with a two-fingered salute. But they scarpered.)
Once at my destination, safely, I felt elated. I hadn’t fallen off. My tyres were still full of air. I’d survived, and I wasn’t contributing to the environmental pollution either. Instead, I was giving myself another reason to be healthy…so I can cycle further.
I do have more miles to train, I hope more drivers will be considerate that I want to get home to my children at the end of the day. But I also hope that more routes will be created offering cyclists (and pedestrians) an opportunity to commute from town to town as fluidly as drivers are given. From my hometown, no route is safe on a bike.
Ironically, there was a Denbighshire Tourism Forum happening in the opposite direction to my workshop at the same time, with cycle routes on the agenda from Ride North Wales. Perhaps things are rolling towards our health and environmental responsibilities.
Perhaps the future is bright, and safer, for cycling in Denbighshire.