The Commuter

by Willie Richards

For years my career had me travelling away, I would normally be engaged in a 6-to-8-week rotation followed by my return home to catch up on some well-deserved R&R from my 12 hour a day/ 7 day a week offshore engagement.
Once home I would sometimes have to nip into town. This had me sometimes stuck in traffic with the rest of the population which was grinding away at their daily routine of eat, work and sleep repeat. Sitting in traffic I would always notice the odd cyclist blitzing past to town with a backpack, assuming that it is someone heading to work and squeezing in some valuable additional training during their normal daily routine.
I always promised myself that if ever my routine or career would demand me to become one of the land loggers I would most definitely adjust my daily routine so that I can also make use of the same means of transport.
Low and behold after a change in my career direction last year I landed with my family in a new city and before I knew it, I was looking at all the different options available for commuting to work. One thing I was sure of though was that I was not going to be sitting in a car day in and out, especially if my home was only 7km’s from my office.
Initially before my two wheeled steed arrived after the world’s longest shipment, I was packing my backpack each day and running home after a day at the office. Depending on my schedule the following day I would sometimes make use of public transport to work but then always run home. There were even some days that I would run in and out. Lugging a laptop, clothes and packed lunch around makes for a solid training session each day although the mileage was never more than 7km’s. Depending on my energy levels after a day at the office I would sometimes squeeze in a bit more as I really started to feel guilty that I am only running these short distances but luckily the extra weight on my back made sure that each km’s was well earned.

This regular commute really helped me clear my mind after each day at the office. Some days I would find myself so wound up after work that the run home was probably the best thing to help me clear my mind and release some of my penned-up stress. On route I started to notice the same familiar faces and without really signing up to any special club I was now part of a very elite group of Individuals that commute into the CBD on a daily basis worldwide.

Two months ago, my two wheeled steed arrived and now I am not pounding the pavement anymore but spinning my way along the cycling lanes of Perth. Some mornings it gets fairly busy and colorful as we all charge down the cycling lane between all the other commuters that are making their way into the CBD.
The Commuter group is an absolute mixed batch that range from the serious cyclist with their top-notch riding kit and top-end bicycle to match, then there is the cyclist that’s been doing it for a while and that is purely riding in as a means of transport from A to B. It’s a mixed batch of riders from all kinds of life that makes up this group of individuals that commute in every day.

I have found a great amount of respect for the daily commuter which uses his body to propel himself from point A to B. Besides saving money when running or cycling into work the added benefits of this way of transport is amazing. You have a very low carbon footprint, you are getting in some exercise after being stuck behind a desk all day, you manage to clear your mind each day as you are riding or pounding the pavement home and bonus is you even pass the guy that is stuck in traffic in his high-end sports car.
So why did I bring up the topic of commuting well it is simple. If you want to get your fitness back and you do live close enough to work for a commute, consider cycling or running to work. It might just save your life; it will most definitely save you some extra cash and you will probably arrive home a happier person. Commuting is a great stress reliever, and you will experience the city you work and life in a whole different way.

Like Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Homes once said, “When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.”
So, dust off your two wheeled steed in the shed, put some air into the tyres and join the rest of the commuters out there. See you out on the road #GetOutThere