Today was the unexpected start of the school bike commute project. The boys were primed & dressed for school early & by the time that I overcame my morning stupor, they were tucking into their breakfast courtesy of their Mum who was departing for work.
With the bikes strapped onto the rack we headed off into the dank Essex morning hopeful that the dry forecast was accurate. We parked 1.5km away and got to school no problem in 10min staying on the paved bridleways and then the footpaths of the busy Hadham road. As we arrived 10min before the bell, foot traffic was light so didn’t even need to dismount. I decided to leave the car parked for the day & my ride home via the supermarket had me arriving home by 10.30, the usual time that I head out for an hour on the bike.
The journey back in the afternoon was uneventful save for the torrential downpour and the impatient Mercedes parts engineer on the M11 junction roundabout who appeared to have received a horn for Christmas. Apart from a slow puncture on Leo’s rear tyre which didn’t need more than one go at pumping it up things went really well and they want to do it again, soon weather permitting. The plan is to extend the journeys to/from school until its warm enough and dry enough to do a whole commute home.
There are many positive sides to doing this regularly:
After weeks of dodging persistent rain, I am finally assured that my wet weather gear does what its supposed to do-keeping me dry and the cold out while I’m moving.
I have more time to get things done around the house. The ride home in the morning and back in the arvo counts as my Monday ride. As I did last summer, I will extend these distances when the weather is better.
As I dont have to worry about parking when I go to meet the boys at school, I can leave home 15 min later than I normally do.
Parking the car all day someplace else means that I dont use it & I save on 18km worth of petrol.
The boys get great exercise as a part of a daily routine, fresh air and a belief (hopefully) that bikes can be used to travel places easily instead of a car.
As we live a lot further from school than most clasmates, they’ll eventually acquire that “badass” reputation among their peers. I’m currently enjoying this assumption about me just because I ride 20km into work once a week in the dark during windy and sometimes “cold”, wet weather during the winter (they dont know that this is the 1st winter that I’ve done it consistently but I’m not telling them that).
Regrettably, next week is half term holiday so we won’t be doing the school ride but maybe, just maybe they’ll be up for a ride someplace else…