Since buying my bike, a nice little Specialized Langster 2011, I have been quite enjoying the freedom of being able to get out and about to places I wouldn't normally go ... and some treks I wouldn't normally have considered!
At the slow-but-cheap end of the "Get me out of this hell-hole" scale, walking means that you can go anywhere you are legally allowed within a reasonable distance; the downside is that actually getting anywhere of interest can take longer than a government enquiry. However, you at least have the advantage of being able to stop and look at interesting stuff whenever the mood takes you.
At the fast-but-expensive end of the scale, driving means that you can easily cover large distances and get anywhere that isn't the decrepit town you live in; the downside is that you can't just park up anywhere (if you're a considerate driver) and if you do find somewhere interesting, there are usually exorbitant parking charges to pay.
Public transport, on the other hand, is a mix of the two and seems to adhere to a completely different convenience scale that often defies comprehension. I guess there's always one oddball in any mix...
So, this is where the bike comes in, getting you to places quicker and allowing you to explore more places than either feet or car alone. For the first few weeks of owning the bike, I found more routes in-and-around Watford than I realised existed, and I've been living here longer than I care to remember.
Pretty soon, I started to go further afield with my first long trip taking me all the way to Tring and back and more recently culminating in a 50+ mile round-trip to Leighton Buzzard; beautiful scenery, but I'd start much earlier in the day if you were planning on following in my tyre treds, as the return journey was so late at night my fingers were ready to drop off from the cold.
So, long story short (okay, too late), having gotten some lengthy bike rides under my belt and getting a bit of a bug for getting out and about, I started to formulate The Plan...
The Plan: To cycle the ten miles or so to the university, thereby saving the cost of fuel and improving my own fitness, starting this Thursday.
The Execution: Overslept ... move to Plan B.
Plan B: To leave home on my bike at 7am to give me enough time to cycle the distance to uni, thereby saving the cost of fuel and improving my own fitness, starting today.
The Execution: Overslept again!
Yeah, I've never been a morning person, so it's going to be interesting to see how I am going to manage getting to my placement position for 8am every day.