To commute or not to commute?
My days playing rugby league are over as is my beach sprinting, distance running and soon I reluctantly give up Brazilian Jui-Jitsu. I begin boxing training with Jason DeLisle - aka 'The Nailer' (Jason took Danny Green to 9 rounds in one of their two fights and was IBF Pan Pacific Light Heavyweight Champion), and continue boxing for a year.
In 2004, I start climbing and this leads to outdoor excursions to the Blue Mountains and other local crags and eventually to state bouldering competitions. In December 2006, I rupture the ACL for a second time and on the 20th December I undergo a second ACL reconstruction. I endure a thorough rehabilitation programme again. Throughout this period, my cycling time increases and I return to commuting with some confidence restored. The date is January 27th, 2009. In November of that year, I enter my first mountain bike race. As they say, the rest is history.
a) Mercedes drivers - they are arrogant and have probably crushed people in their rise to the top and so a stupid little bike rider is not going to get in their way.
b) Ute drivers - God forbid they might lose precious work time in the morning.
c) Bus drivers - 95% of bus drivers are great but that minority stand out due to sheer numbers and the fact that a long stretchy bus squeezing you up against the side of the road is an extremely uncomfortable experience.
As Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore stated in June 2010, “The 1 per cent of inner-Sydney trips already taken by bicycle result in 25,000 fewer car trips every day. If people commute by bike for shorter distances they provide more capacity on the already overcrowded public transport services and speed up journeys for people who have to drive”.
The more people realise that bikes on the road means less cars and less traffic congestion the happier we will all be. In London, Boris Johnson has introduced bike friendly policies which have been welcomed by both cyclists and motorists. Cycling continues to gain popularity in Sydney and, like it or not, more bikers are hitting the roads, and benefiting from quicker commutes, increased fitness and cheaper travel costs. My weekly commute adds around 200 km to my training and provides a foundation to my fitness regime. Not only that, but commuting is fun, a challenge and is a natural kick-start in the morning and a mind-cleanser in the late afternoon. Halving journey times and passing stationary cars on major highways begs the question that once you start commuting on a bike is it really possible to stop?