100 miles a week, 4,500 miles a year for over 30 years ... that's 135,000 miles or 5.5 times around the world and over half way to the moon ... good for mind, body and planet it's a great way to get to work.
For over thirty years I cycled to work and back across London and lived to tell the tale ...no mean feat considering the dangers for cyclists on London roads. I used to joke that cycling in London is a contact sport ... speak to any cyclist and they can go on and on about the accidents they have had. There were weekly minor incidents and close shaves with cars and on average I would be knocked off badly once or twice a year, on three or four of those occasions I could have been killed and on one occasion I was seriosly attacked.
Cars don't drive themselves ... it is the people inside them that cause the problem ... its like they are in a little bubble .. or for some drivers more like a tank with turret vision where they only pay attention to other tanks and not see cyclists. The main problem I had was drivers pulling out of junctions, turning left and cutting me up. I've even had rubbish thrown over me from out of car windows both accidentally and on purpose ... its not funny to have cans of beer shaken and then opened to fizz out over you or half eaten fish and chips thrown over you .. such is the arrogance and contempt that some car users have for cyclists.
The one good thing about cycling through central London is that cars can't travel that fast and are often stationary, stuck in jams - in fact it was always quicker and more convenient for me to cycle to work than take the car or train and a hell of a lot cheaper as well ... I must have saved a small fortune and help save the planet at the same time.
Cycling is an excellent cardio-vascular exercise and to be able to build this into your commute to and from work is far better than three or four hours in packed commuter trains with people coughing and sneezing around you or sat in a car .. there's enough sitting for office bound workers as it is.
Steve Jobs described the computer as like a bicycle for our minds but I have heard cycling described as travelling at the speed of thought. Exercise is good for your mental health and cycling to work was good for my mind - endorphines at the ready I'd arrive at work with a natural high - relaxed and in a good positive mood happy and ready to go and deal with the problems and stresses of IT systems and services management and then at the end of the day ... able to peddle away any frustrations. Compare this with arriving at work after sitting through traffic jams and road rages or being jammed in a train carriage or delayed ... the main thing to delay you on a bike is a puncture but with quick release wheels and a spare tube you can be back on your way in about 12 minutes.
Cycling to work gets you outside, even in the city you come to appreciate the seasons and the weather ... darkness, sun, wind, rain, snow, heat and cold, they are all part of the experience - I've even had a bird poop on me twice as I've cycled along ... both times in the eye ... "bird's eye" I used to think to myself. You do get a better connection with nature on a bike and using only your own energy you are not polluting the planet in any way ... heaven knows how much in CO2 emmisions I have saved cycling around during my life for 135,000 miles is only the distance commuting to work over 30 years.
HG Wells once said that "When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race." ... long may we ride :)