(or a more impressive sounding 13596 km, or over a third of the circumference of the globe, or almost half of the Guiness Book of World Records’ requirement for cycling around the world, or another whole additional race on top of the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España combined. Not too shabby for “just” cycling to work).
It’s a year since I took on this - in hindsight and foresight - crazy commute. I’d always fancied a longer cycle to/from work and the opportunity arose when we had to move house last July. After doing a bit of reading into commute distances I decided I’d do anywhere within a 20 mile cycle: Typically, the place the girls fall in love with is about 19 miles from work (19.2 for the winter route and 19.6 for summer). However, timing wise the move was ok as the cycle2work scheme at work was about to open again and so I was all set to get a proper geared bike, I just had the first couple of weeks to get through on fixed gear; a bike which was ideal for the 3.5 mile each way commute I’d come from and got it for.
The first day I pretty much felt like crying for my mum. I’d done no training. Just gone from the previous commute (I did cycle all weather, all year round though, so even over this short distance racked up just over 1500 miles the previous year) to a 19.2 mile each way commute. However, I just kept plodding on and the sense of achievement when I finally rolled into the carpark at work was just amazing. And I’d not made bad time either.
A week into the cycle and I’d very quickly got used to it and was thinking fixed gear over this distance wasn’t actually that bad. A few days later however, when the head winds picked up I’d changed my tune and was definitely getting some gears.
Then the cycle2work scheme fell through and so I guess I was staying on fixed gear.
And the rest is history. And now that challenge is over, I can sit back and relax safe in the knowledge that I never have to do another full year on fixed gear. Ha! Not really, just get up tomorrow and carry on doing it.