Cycling daily (every day)

Nick's earlier Post, cycling is not merely a hobby, is probably true in my case, although I don't particularly mind downgrading my characterisation of this daily activity to 'hobby' whenever I describe it to others. Anyway, whatever I happen to call it, I do it every day of the year. Unless it rains all day (I wear spectacles, and on my bike I like to see where I'm going).

Cycling daily

Fortunately for me, the West Pennine Moors are on my doorstep. Even luckier, when I work, I work from home, so I can go out cycling any time I like. I could cycle much more than I do, but there are people in my life and I wouldn't want to disappear for days on end, plus I wouldn't want too much of a good thing. Cycling about 150 miles per week, I'm always raring to go.

When I mentioned to the owner of my local bike shop that I average 20 miles per day on my bike, I could see he wasn't impressed. "Twenty miles is not very far," he was thinking. He actually said as much, and that he and his mates do over 75 miles each Thursday. But even if they do this on Sundays as well, they're still only doing the same average mileage as me.

And each day it rains means 20 miles missed, to be regained the next ride, or spread out over a few, making rides of 30 or 35 miles one day after the next. Of course 35 miles is not so far either, but keeping up that daily average makes cycling an inherent part of one's day, year in, year out. My bike is kept just inside the front door, pointing outwards, and my cycling kit is in a handy pile in the corner of the room nearest the hallway. The rough edges get rounded off in the regular process of getting out on the road. So this isn't a hobby, and it doesn't give way to winter either.

Winter cycling

In frosty or snowy weather I ride an elderly Peugeot ATB, a relic of the 1980s but a fine bike all the same. With the tyres deflated slightly, unless the snow is inches deep I can still go out cycling but often off-road on tracks with a rougher surface than tarmac, and away from traffic. This is really why I have two bikes: so that nothing gets in the way of keeping up the daily average, not even Christmas Day.

The place where I live is absolutely perfect for a cyclist like me. I happen to like cycling up hills, and there are plenty of those on the West Pennine Moors, with a choice of road or tracks. It has to be physical. It isn't just the pleasure of riding a bicycle and enjoying the scenery but also a need to push one's body, not so much to the limit but enough for that sense of well-being that comes from daily physical exertion.

I'm not alone, of course. On weekdays in the local lanes, I come across the same faces again and again: blokes in their sixties or seventies, cycling daily because, as Nick says, cycling just 'is'.

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