Changing Lanes



Changing Lanes

Morning rush hour. What a lovely time of day, especially on the Northern line (sarcastic tone). Thankfully I never had to take that tin can of despair but instead sat on the Victoria line at Stockwell and witnessed the beast roll into the platform. Nothing looks more out of place than yuppie Clapham girls with carefully made up hair, sandwiched between oversized builders and pressed flat against the windows of the doors. The irritating buzz as the doors open release the throng of those with their eyes set on the awaiting Victoria line train. They sprint across the gap, which although only around 20 meters across is long enough to provide entertainment for those on the Victoria line but short enough to provide hope for those making the desperate dash before the train doors close. In the words of the great David Attenborough – some make it, others don’t.

Every time I see this human salmon run I wonder why people put themselves through it. Why not wait for the next train – or live somewhere that you can get on a train without feeling like you are getting hugged by a boa constrictor. Obviously there are certain reasons why people do this to themselves and I am not naive enough to think that the other options are viable for all. However, I have recently changed codes from the tube to the road and have cannot see myself going back (during the Summer that is). I am of course talking about cycling to work. Here are my thoughts on the matter:

The first rule is that you need a shower at work. If you do not have a shower then I would advise against cycling to work. People sweat, and sweat smells. Don’t put your colleagues through that.

Except for the initial outlay on the bike, it is definitely cheaper. My bike cost me £120, about the same as a month’s underground fare. So it paid for itself pretty quickly.

You get fitter. And arrive at work feeling a whole lot better.

It is better for the environment.

For the most part, it is quicker. I can cycle to work,be showered and changed and sat at my desk 10 minutes before I would have arrived if I had taken the tube.

Clearly there are disadvantages to cycling. Sometimes you have to leave the bike in the office in order to go for drinks. The roads can be dangerous and near misses can ‘pucker you up’. Rain can be irritating and the winter is not particularly fun, especially in the mornings. Having said that, I will attempt to cycle throughout Winter, rain isn’t all that bad, as long as you are not an idiot it is not like playing Russian roulette……and cycling to and from work when it is sunny is just exquisite. The pros out weigh the cons in my opinion.

So my conclusion is this. If the facilities are there you should seriously consider giving it a go – even if it is just for the Summer. Join in the competitive drag races between the lights or simply pootle along enjoying the sun. And the fact that you are not crammed on a Northern Line train with the mole people.

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