Beating The Commute Blues

by 6

I’ve been a bit slack on the commute front of late – a few too many mornings hopping on the train instead of the bike. I’ve also been too pushed for time to do nice circuitous commutes taking in countryside scenery and back roads, so I’ve been doing battle with the main A-road whenever I have gathered the energy for the commute. No wonder I’ve been taking the train.

However, this can’t continue. There are trousers without elasticated waists that need to be worn, muscles that need to be exercised, and a brain that needs to be flushed with endorphins. To try and perk myself up a bit and appreciate my commute a little more, today I decided to revisit my ‘sit up and notice things’ approach I talked about in Reasons To Be Cheerful, and veered off the main road onto the canal. Sure enough, there was plenty to see on this still autumnal morning. Some of it escaped my attempts to photograph it – the heron in the tree, the pair of jays on the path – but here are a few things that caught my eye. Maybe they’ll inspire you to postpone that fireside cuppa and go and see what’s on your doorstep.

Virginia creeper going full autumn.

The trees are only just turning, but this Virginia Creeper was already a gorgeous array of colours.

The first leaves are falling.

This was one of those super still days where the reflections on the canal are only disturbed by the occasional duck.

Dark and still.

I love this view on the canal, with the trees growing right up to and over the water creating a dark space, and the bend stretching off into the distance and towards the light.

Picture perfect bike path?

The houses you can just make out face the main road on the other side. On this side, though, the canal is wide and runs alongside the river, creating a quiet haven that is a world away from the busy road. Today there weren’t even the usual gaggle of geese to contend with, making for a peaceful ride by.

It’s all about to kick off.

The trees here are only just starting to turn, and the sky was grey today. Another week or two and it’ll be a display that’s well worth pedalling along here for. Maybe I’ll even catch one of those magical blue sky crisp mornings where your eyes tell you it should be warm, but your frozen ears tell you otherwise.

Lazy hazy morning ride.

Commuting, it’s all too easy to forget to look around you altogether. Or to only ever see one direction in morning light, and the other in the afternoon or evening. Today I remembered to stop and look behind me, and caught the sun trying to break through the cloud above this crag.

And so I arrived at work, a little later than usual, but lighter of mood. Next step: to keep going when the rain is falling and the wind is blowing. I might not stop and take photos then.

Hannah Dobson

Hannah came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. Having worked in policy and project management roles at the Scottish Parliament and in local government, Hannah had organisational skills that SIngletrack needed. She also likes bikes, and likes to write.

Hannah likes all bikes, but especially unusual ones. If it’s a bit odd, or a bit niche, or made of metal, she’s probably going to get excited. If it gets her down some steep stuff, all the better. She’ll give most things a go once, she tries not to say no to anything on a bike, unless she really thinks it’s going to hurt. She’s pretty good with steri-strips.

More than bikes, Hannah likes what bikes do. She thinks that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments.

Hannah tries to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

Comments (6)

    I love my canal side commute, I often see herons, deer & kingfishers along the way 🙂

    Only 8.5km for tonight’s commute but it was lovely. New job has the benefit of a 90% Greenway run.
    Great potential shot of a heron this morning on a pool near to my works. Would have needed a proper camera to do it justice though. Phone not good enough.

    I passed with a couple of metres of a heron on the way home too – but could I heck get my phone out quickly enough to get a picture of it. Herons seem to wait until the very moment you’re ready to press the button on the camera until they fly off. I have a lot of pictures of a grey blur!

    I love my commute. 5 miles in on roads and a few tracks or slightly longer if it’s nice on cheeky trails for all but the last half mile. Even when it horrendous weather I just feel so good when I get to work. The really good days are when I get up an hour early and do a 20 mile route via the Ridgeway.
    Motivation to do this all year is helped by the fact I don’t have a car and there are no buses through my village any more. 🙂

    Love the commute here, too, especially just now with low sun, hazy mornings. The challenge is maintaining it into the colder, darker mornings but this year I AM determined.

    Varying my commute to take in some woodland or small local trails has actually made the commute a pleasure. It’s just a shame about the work bit in the middle

Leave a Reply