On the way home yesterday I had a Eureka moment. Or possibly a stupid idea, I’ll have to find out which.
I had to work late yesterday. Having cycled in I needed to get myself and my bike back home again. Faced with the prospect of a swiftly approaching journey home, as I was dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s, I started considering my options and was strongly tempted to kick my heels for half an hour while the cleaner finished off downstairs before blagging a lift home from him, but I wasn’t sure he had room in his van for Emma and I was reluctant to leave her in the racks at work.
Half an hour is half an hour though, and in half an hour I could ride home and be sitting on the settee with a drink (soft) and a homemade pumpkin muffin. I sighed; finished tidying my desk and shutting down my computer; picked up my handbag and headed for the stairs. As I said goodbye to the cleaner and the colleague who had kept me company all evening, the penny dropped. I wasn’t dreading the idea of riding home; I’d been looking forward to blowing the cobwebs and spreadsheets out of my head. It was the prospect of getting changed, of stripping out of my comfortable day clothes and squeezing into all that lycra (wonderful though the kit is and much as I appreciate it in so many ways). Then again, my trousers were slim at the ankles, I had on a polo neck and a t-shirt rather than a shirt so I wasn’t restricted across the shoulders, was there any reason I couldn’t just change my shoes, slip on a windstopper and top it off with a helmet?
I did just that, throwing my leggings and jersey into my pannier bag. I took it easy cycling home, not wanting to get sweaty in non-technical kit. The ride home took 3 minutes longer than usual – it takes twice that long to get changed – and I arrived as fresh as a daisy (for a given value of daisy).
So, is this the answer to my rushing home in the evening issue? Forego the head-to-toe lycra and frantic, stress-riddled dashes in favour of a more relaxed pace and fewer costume changes? It’s a very alluring idea, I must say, and it gives me a little leeway for not getting changed but still pegging it home and showering once I’ve picked up the boys.
Not that this will be perfectly straightforward, I’ll have to think more about my wardrobe. I have a road bike with a diamond frame (that rules out the pencil skirt I bought yesterday), no chain guard (careful of those bootcut, flared and wide-legged trousers) and dropped handlebars (that will make cycling in shirts less than practical). There’s also the prospect of rain to consider, so there will be days when I will want to wear leggings to ride into work and take dry trousers or skirt in with me, although it’s less important to keep my clothes dry on the way home as I can just change when I get there.
So, if it usually takes me 10 minutes to get from my desk to my bike, let’s see what happens this evening!