Getting Back in the Saddle, Part 1

After last week's post , I would like to say how easy it was for me to get back in the saddle but it wasn’t. It was hard.  I don't want to be misleading. Like breaking most habits it required effort, a bloody minded determination to gain traction. That and a plan. This wasn't my first attempt at cycle commuting. In last week’s post, I mentioned the time I did cycle to work but was put off repeating it by a combination of my physical condition, the riding conditions and doom-laden predictions from my colleagues. On a few other occasions I have tried with slightly better success, but still not enough to fully make the transition to cycling as my main mode of transport. Previous plans involved breaking myself in gently, cycling once a week for a few weeks then steadily increasing the frequency as I got fitter and more used to the traffic. Three weeks in a row was my record, cycling to work on two days in the last week. It wasn't frequently enough to build fitness or, more

How I fell off my bike

Not literally, but how I got out of the habit of cycling.  This is the first of a series of three posts on my personal journey away from regular cycling then back into it over many years.  This post talks of how I used my bike to get around and some of the barriers to me getting back into it. In the next post I will talk about how I got back into it, in a manner, and the final post brings us up to date.  This is only my perspective but I'm sure it is not unique and you may have similar experiences. It happens to so many of us, that we regularly cycle as children and adolescents then “grow” out of it as adults.  Until I left school I cycled everywhere: to school, to the shops, to my Saturday job, to the swimming baths and any other activities that were farther than a five minute walk.  During the holidays I would make 30 mile (50km) round trips to visit my grandparents or 70 mile (110km) round trips to the beach and, a couple of times, longer trips over several days, such as the tri

The Blue Marble

Please join me in celebrating fifty years of this iconic image.   Taken from the Apollo 17 mission on December 7th 1972, this famous image changed the way we view the world.  All of humanity is captured in the field of view (except for the crew of Schmitt, Evans and Cernan). It shows ourselves as others would see us, from the outside looking inwards.   It is the only world we will ever know, our home. We must look after it. Respect it. There is no doubt that this image acted as a catalyst to the environmental movement.  It lays bare how fragile and vulnerable we are in the vast emptiness. . We have filled all the hospitable corners of the planet and it is clear that there is nowhere else to go.   The image was captured while travelling between Earth orbit and the moon, where Scmitt and Cernan walked a few days later. They were the last humans to stand on an extraterrestrial body.  In the time since it was taken, there have been huge advances in satellite and imaging technology giving u