Week 29: Bicycle! Bicycle!

I hinted at it, and yes: it has happened! I’ve bought a bike and started cycling.

On and in itself, it’s not hugely exciting news to break, but if you’ve, like me, lived about a world away from where you work and had to rely on motorised transportation, being able to use a bike for getting around is huge!

And I can’t believe how much you need to be cycling, other than a bike. Since I got my second hand, beautiful, unisex, muscle-powered vehicle, I had to acquire some more gear to survive in the Scottish winter, such as rainproof trousers, lights and reflectors. And, of course, a helmet! Luckily, I got most of these additional items reduced or for free, which didn’t strain my budget too much. For just over £100, I have fully equipped myself to get through the winter. This saves me, in effect, £25 per month (the cost of taking the bus), which means the effort pays for itself once I made it through to February.

The upside? I get fresh air, gain some fitness, and save the planet by using absolutely no carbon emissions on my way to uni. And I’m even 5 minutes faster than the bus!

The downside? There’s a thin line between freezing to your handlebar and sweating through 5 layers of clothes. As my fitness grows, I’m sweating less with the effort, but overall I need to carefully balance in order to not arrive soaking wet at uni. And, of course, there is a high convenience factor, especially in the current Scottish weather. If you have an aversion to getting your face wet to the point where you could just as well dip it in a pool, cycling might not be the right thing for you. But thanks to my rainproof trousers and coat, all I need to worry about is my gloved hands which get a bit soaked at times, and the rest of me stays lovely warm.

PS: I’d love to share some more pictures, but it just hasn’t stopped raining in days! 😥


5 thoughts on “Week 29: Bicycle! Bicycle!

  1. Julia says:

    I ride my bike all the time in the spring/summer, but the snow and -30ºC weather I get in the winter makes it a little crazy in my opinion. Glad you’re joining the cycling movement!


    • Annika says:

      Wow! -30ºC! I’m happy it’s not going to be that cold here, although I don’t know whether I will cycle in the snow. It will depend on how safe the roads are…


  2. Brian says:

    Brilliant! That’s a great-looking bike and I’m sure it will serve you well.

    It sure is great fun arriving quicker than it would do to go by bus!

    Juggling the layers between being drenched by rain or drenching in sweat is always a tricky one – I sometimes go out all clad in waterproofs and end up peeling them off 5 minutes later, or if it has stopped raining as I approach my destination (and it’s not too cold) I cycle the last bit without my coat on, in order to cool down.

    The other thing with all this wet weather cycling is making sure things are dry in time for the next day.

    Good luck!


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