Woodside, California
My lovely title sponsors, Brocade, bought me a new bicycle shortly before I left for New Zealand, but for some reason I had been putting off using it. I could claim that it was because the weather back then was wet and cold, but if I am honest I have to admit that it was because I was scared.

When I was a teenager, growing up in Cambridge, I used to cycle everywhere, but it is so true that if you don’t keep expanding your comfort zone it doesn’t just stay the same – it actually shrinks. So here I was, 25 years later, looking at my shiny new bike and thinking, “Maybe tomorrow…”

But today there was no excuse. The sun was shining and the roads were dry. The bike beckoned.

It helped that Sinead, my New Zealand tramping partner, had inspired me. She used to cycle to work in London – and that surely has to be a lot scarier than facing the Woodside traffic.

So I summoned my courage, strapped on my cycle helmet, and pedalled to the gym this morning. And of course it was great, because:

– It saved time. The half-hour round trip gave me a good workout, meaning I needed to spend half an hour less in the gym. I’ve replaced “dead” driving time with active exercise time.

– It saved money. The price of petrol has gone up about 30c since I was last in the US, so the less I use my car, the better.

РIt saved the environment. By cycling instead of driving, I would save 2.25 tons of CO2 emissions in a year (if I was going to be living in Woodside for the entire year). Click here to calculate your own CO2 emissions.

– Plus, on a day like this, it is a real pleasure to be exercising outside instead of on a stationary bike in the gym. I got my daily dose of sunshine and Vitamin D simply by making a journey I needed to make anyway.

And hopefully, if I ride my bike every day, I might avoid humiliation the next time someone invites me along for a bike ride.

So if you’ve got a bicycle gathering dust in the garage, why not dig it out and take it for a spin. It will make you feel good – and you might even enjoy it!

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