Cycling to work

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With the summer now officially upon us along with the longer evenings and brighter mornings more and more people are being tempted to leave the car at home and  cycle to work . The advantages are obvious , heatlthier , cheaper , faster if you live in a town or city , more enjoyable as long as you don’t live on top of a mountain etc.

However , all of these practical reasons rarely do the trick . Usually , for someone to sit up on their bike and cycle to work there is a more hidden reason for their decision . A number of years ago I lived in Clogheen and had a fifteen mile journey to and from work . Every day had the same beginning , a quick shower followed by a hasty breakfast and then a sprint to the van whereby the the third lap of the Monaco grand prix would be simulated on the way in to work for nine .

I soon realised that this was not the ideal way to begin the working day but was slow to come up with any other options . This was about the time when Dr. Coleman Walshe’s father began to appear each morning on the wood road . There he was most mornings cruising out  past Kilnamack wood heading towards Knocklofty bridge around ten to nine just as I would be tearing in the road towards town . The thing is that at the time he was in his mid-eighties and I was in my late twenties . Whilst he was getting his day of to a healthy start I was on the way towards heart attack city . All that I was missing was the breakfast roll and large bottle of lucozade for company .

The fact that someone of that age was able to regularly cycle a minmum of ten to fifteen miles per day began to lodge itself at the front of my mind . Upon mentionong it to some people who were in the shop one day , I was told that not only did he train each day but he would first cycle his commuter bike down to the shop before breakfast to get the morning paper and perhaps 7.45 daily mass . Then after a healthy breakfast he would don his cycling gear and head off out for a spin .

Now I really began to feel lazy and decided that it was time to do something about it so I began to cycle in and out to work 3 to 4 days per week . This thirty mile per day round trip with the odd bit extra added in dramaticly improved both my fitness and my ability to start the working day running .

As with any increase in exercise or variation on the normal routine at first it was hard . But within three weeks a new habit was formed and it became so much easier . That summer I did the Wicklow 200 with relative ease thanks to my new commuters training regime .

I now still commute to work as often as possible on my commuter specific Specialized sirrus elite . This bike has carbon front and rear forks so it still feels like a proper road bike . And I definitly feel better by doing even this short commute , especially on the odd morining such as yesterday when I see the now mid-ninety year old Mr. Walshe still cycling down to 7.45 Mass in St. Marys .

So if someone in their nineties is able to get out of bed on a wet Tuesday morning and cycle to town what excuse is there for someone in their twenties , thirties  or forties for not cycling to work or where-ever ?


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