Being competitive is bad!!

Since commuting on my bicycle to and from work every day, I’ve noticed that my competitive nature is coming to the fore.

I purchased a Garmin 200, largely so that I could follow routes and record my activities, but the feature that allows me to track my daily commute against a ‘virtual me’ showing the fastest time I have completed that route in, is driving me to push myself harder and harder.

I enjoy living on the edge, I love adrenaline sports and I’m very determined…this all leads to me wanting to beat my fastest time each and every time i do that route. Not only do I want to beat my own time, but I also want to beat fellow cyclists that are doing the same part of my route as me. I aim to be the fastest away from traffic lights and overtake those in front of me along the wonderful stretch that is Waterloo bridge – it’s not even like I’m in a hurry, I always allow extra time so that I won’t be late even if my journey takes longer than anticipated, but yet I still push myself, day in and day out. Is it just me, or does this competitive streak also come out in you?

All this results in me turning up as a hot mess when i arrive wherever I’m going – I’ve never taken so many showers as I do now!

Incidentally, all this sprint cycling has meant that my fitness levels are improving which is great news!

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Cycling and chatting on the phone – not so sure that’s a good idea

So on this evening’s ride home, I found myself at some traffic lights And could hear a man talking. I assumed he was chatting with a fellow cyclist, however once we moved away from the lights, I realised he was chatting using the hands free kit of his mobile phone.

I found myself being very surprised that this was happening. As a London cyclist, I find myself checking over my shoulder for approaching danger every few seconds to ensure I’m safe to swerve around potholes or avoid sewer entries or grates for example. I concentrate the whole duration of my journey, looking ahead for danger, checking the road in front of me and being aware of what’s going on around me – and I just simply don’t think I could do all that and chat on the phone at the same time!

This man wasn’t cycling in a dangerous manner, so is it just me being over-cautious? What do you think? Is chatting on the phone at the same time as cycling down busy London roads ok?

So I think this cycling malarkey might be contagious

Anyone who knows me, will know that since I have been cycling regularly, I’ve been talking about cycling a lot more too.

First there was talk about the type of bike I had purchased, then a conversation around my helmet, locks, gloves etc and now on a regular basis how my commute was (almost ran over a cat today since you asked) and if I’ve cycled anywhere fun recently.

Not only have I been spending a large amount of my disposable income on cycling related purchases, but it seems that I’ve also convinced others to do so too! First my flatmate traded in her old bike for a new one and now cycles daily to work – and now, my other flatmate has bought one online, so that he can join the fun too. I don’t feel able to take all the credit for this, but I do think I helped give them the kick up the backside they needed, the upside of which is that now I may have some company on my rides!

Today’s commute

The weather this week has not really been all that conducive for cycling – at least not for me as I don’t yet have any waterproofs. Due to this, I have been travelling to work on the tube, rather than cycling.

The weather this morning seemed ok and I was looking forward to getting back out there on my bike when I remembered that I had plans to attend a friend’s celebratory drinks in the evening. That meant another day without cycling.

The tube was hot and crowded and it reminded me why I love to cycle. There was however one brief moment that brightened up my day. We were preparing to leave Waterloo and the driver made the announcement “please mind the closing doors”. The doors in my carriage closed, but they mustn’t have in all carriages as a few seconds later the doors re-opened shortly followed by a comment from the driver “what don’t you understand about “mind the closing doors?!”” It was so unexpected that it made many a commuter snigger, myself included and the dreariness of travelling by tube seemed to drift away!

Amusing tube drivers – just one of the reasons I love London!!

Welcome to Girl&BikevsLondon

Hello, and thanks for visiting my little corner of the internet – on this blog I’m going to be sharing my 2-wheeled adventures around the town I call home; London.

I live in South London, near Kennington tube station and have done for 6 years now. It’s an area with fantastic traffic links and so I’ve always relied upon the tube and bus network to get around, but that was all to change in January, when I purchased my new steed.

I decided I wanted to get a bike, to make the trip to and from the gym quicker and also as a way to save money on travel. One sunny Sunday morning, I visited¬†Recycling, a second hand bike shop under the arches of Elephant and Castle train station. They have a great selection of second-hand bikes and after trying out about 20, I found the one for me. It’s a Gary Fisher hybrid, from 2010 and after picking a new saddle and a quick tune up, we were on our way!

The first few months I had the bike it was the depths of a British winter, so whilst I used it for short trips, it didn’t see a huge amount of use. Since the weather has improved however, I’ve been using it twice a day for my commute to and from work – and I’m loving every ¬†minute of it.

I’ll be filling you in on my adventures through my blog and look forward to exploring this amazing city on 2 wheels.

Amanda