On my return to work after a long holiday break, I made the decision to begin riding my bike to work each day. I live about 18km from work - my home is in the bayside suburb of Wynnum West, and I work in the Brisbane CBD.
My plan was to drive to work on Monday with a bag containing clothes for the next three days of work, then bring them home on Friday. Week one started well, with the allocation of my locker in the bike room at work. I am lucky to work for a forward thinking organisation who supplies me with an end of trip facility that includes bike storage, lockers and showers so I can ride to work knowing that I have the opportunity to freshen up at the end of the ride.
Tuesday was my first day in the saddle and I enjoyed an incident free commute. It takes me about 55 minutes to ride to and from work and my aim is to find the safest route in and out each day. This explains why I had a fall on day two! I found a lovely fellow rider who showed me how to get onto the Riverside Walk from Kangaroo Point, and proceeded to ride around riverside with the aim of riding through the gardens at QUT and onto the riverside expressway bikeway.
It's at this point that I really should emphasise how important it into plan your route! Unfortunately I didn't and as a result took a tumble on an unfamiliar path. Other than a few bruises and a bit of skin lost I pulled up ok, and lived to ride home that afternoon.
I'm now into week 3 of work and am loving it so much that I am planning to ride everyday. I log each ride into "Map my Ride" to track my progress. I love logging in at the end of the week and finding out the level of carbon emissions I have saved by getting on the bike. There's also a significant financial benefit. By riding to work, I am not only saving petrol from the drive to the bus station (about $30 per week), but also the daily bus fares of about $9. Factor that into one year and there's a potential saving of about $2000 per year.
With the added health benefit of getting the muscles working and the heart pumping, I'm happy to keep the motivation levels high and keep the pedals turning.
For anyone considering the ride to work, be it 4km or 24km, I can recommend it. My energy levels have never been so high, my mood is exuberant after risking peak hour traffic and surviving each trip and I'm doing my bit to ease traffic congestion. I can easily say this is one of the best decisions I have made for quite some time.
For me, cycling has become an addiction!