This week began with a practice commute to Axis house, my soon-to-be work base, and back. Commuting appears to be the way forward as I will have no parking space of my own (and am in the centre of Birmingham) and train fare would be just under £8 a day (let alone the fact I wold still have to find a way to Redditch to start train journey. Is a just under 40 mile round trip too much for the likes of me?!
|Practice BTP Commute|
|Practice Home Commute|
Sure enough, I took Queenie out for a practice commute over the weekend. I attempted to follow the same route as earlier in the week but discovered I had actually gone off route. Instead of cycling lots and lots of tow-path, I diverted onto the Rea Valley cycleway. This was much more picturesque and took me through Cannon Hill Park. Only menace was the number of runners filling said park and the many traffic light crossings. Probably a better route overall though and nice to have choice! Queenie sure coped better with the bumpy tow-path (compared to Kay-O) and her disc brakes were great. SPD's sure made a difference too. The big hill I feared was conquered, but only just and my chest felt like it was ripped open - gears would definitely help here. It took me about 1 hour 40 mins to reach BTP base, about the same as last time. Queenie kept topping out and I know with a more 'perfect' commute bike I could take considerable time off and power flat and descending sections. All in all, quite happy that my big heavy single-speed MTB was up for the commute task and will most probably be used until an alternative commute bike can be sourced/funded!
My return home was essentially same route in reverse. I stopped to take a picture of 1 of the many green signs lining the Rea Valley Cycleway. Greener - yes! Faster - no! Fitter - not yet! Return home was slow, about 1 hour 40 mins again. I was expecting a faster finish but sadly was not able. Queenie kept topping out but still seems like a slightly better choice of temporary commute bike compared to Kay-O.
Cycled 145k this week. Total cycling this year now stands at 2,744k. Maybe next week will be my first real commute.