I read this lovely article from the Daily Mail site yesterday and at first I thought it was complete rubbish (this is the Daily Mail after all….) but then after looking at the suggestions from the research I’m not so sure it all ties up.
Yes I suppose by riding to work I’m putting myself into a “dangerous” situation, exposing myself to the various pollutants in the air etc. but I’m sure this isn’t just a blanket effect for everyone who cycles, after all I’m getting a decent work out each day so surely this must offset some of the risk?
Also the perception of danger varies from person to person. I don’t have any issues dealing with the busy London roads, it’s almost become second nature now! If anything I feel more stressed when I’m using PT as there are timetables to follow, interchanges to make between trains and the undergroud and if any one of those is missed then it usually entails a fair bit of waiting around and wasting time. I quite like using my time productively so a 15 minute wait for the next train to me is viewed as roughly 3 miles cycling to my destination 🙂
There are also other nice side effects of exercise such as actually acting as a de-stresser and I honestly couldn’t believe how much better I felt yesterday after my ride, my first day back on the bike since rather stupidly shutting my fingers in the door of the family car on Valentines Day. Since then I’ve been fairly unbearable and in a foul mood, the brunt of which my wife and children have had to deal with. If I don’t get a chance to blow off that excess energy it just build up to the point where I become rather short tempered. This was compounded by the fact that I had to use public transport to get around for work and the fact that the injury that meant I was off the bike was entirely my own stupid fault!
I can’t imagine the strain of all that stress was good for me and even I could tell I was much calmer having got in from the ride home last night! Incidentally last night was the first time since last summer/early autumn that I’ve been able to ride in a short sleeved top and it felt great, nothing beats the sensation of wind on bare skin and I was absolutely belting around in London before hitting the hills in Crystal Palace which I positively glided up with none of my usual asthmatic warthog impressions 🙂