I (don't) want to ride my bicycle
September 9, 2008 3:00 AM Subscribe
My cycle commute has halved in distance and quadrupled in frustration - how do I stay fit?
I'm not a gym fan and my favourite way of keeping fit has been through cycling to work. However, I recently changed jobs and it's more than halved the distance I pedal each way. Instead of 8 miles of a mostly traffic-free, fairly hilly cycle route, I now crawl for 3.5 miles on the flat through very heavy, stop-start traffic in central London, fighting for road space with other cyclists and commuters and being thwarted by red lights at every turn. Also, as I am conditioned to the longer distance it feels physically frustrating to have to stop at the point where I was previously just getting going. Adding to the hassle is that I no longer have anywhere safe to leave my beloved bike once I'm at work and the lock's been mangled by a recent theft attempt.
The increasingly attractive alternative is to take the bus door-to-door instead and have a good read for forty minutes (yes, the traffic is that heavy!) - beneficial to my head but not really my bod and I can feel my fitness level dropping a lot. As part of the reason I took this job was to have a shorter commute I'm now feeling a bit jipped!
So I'm trying to figure out if the health benefits of cycling this route are worth dealing with the new stress. Or could I just embrace the bus and work out some new programme of daily excercise which would give me the workout of my former route? Any tips gratefully received!