Leeds Beckett Commuter stories (part 2)
"Perfect, thanks! And can I just say how amazing this bike rent has been! Thank you so much, it's a daily joy! "
Somebody mentioned the words ‘midlife crisis’ to me recently when I was telling them about a number of changes to my lifestyle that I had made. My most recent change has been to opt for a pollution free mode of transport for my daily commute to work.
Once I’d got the essentials; my bike from the dark corner of the garage and a pair of well-padded shorts (a must-have in my opinion) and practised for a couple of hours in not falling off, I was off tearing downhill and crawling back up them. I cycle a 6.5 mile route which takes about half an hour. It's not a great scenic route in fact it’s a congested, concrete boulevard of high rise blocks and tricky junctions, with no really interesting features. There's one good downhill, too many little ups and of course two Tescos, with the usual traffic mayhem they bring, but the singing birds and the simple feeling of exhilaration that cycling allows you to feel, transforms the experience into a sort of therapy.
It’s certainly providing me with a certain sense of achievement, knowing that not only am I contributing to a reduction in the congestion and emissions, but also vastly improving all aspects of my health and saving money on petrol at the same time. Swapping my car for my bike followed by a commitment to follow a plant based diet, prompted by a concern for both my health and animal welfare and, after viewing a number of documentaries, a better understanding of the damaging impact animal agriculture in particular, has on the environment and that this is unsustainable.
So trying to minimise my personal human impact on the environment through these small changes to my living habits, I'm quite happy if this is my mid life crisis. I can sit with that, in my padded shorts.