When I posted the previous message, I did worry that it was a bit boring and administrative; it was simply a letter from my employer confirming that I would be able to purchase my bike through the “cycle to work” scheme. It is bizarre then that such a mundane post generated so many comments – 15 of them! This blog is used to having a couple of comments per post if I it is lucky, very occasionally three, but 15 is something else!
Some comment was directly related to the post, other comments not. All were interesting and thanks for those who took the time to contribute. What follows is a very quick summary of the discussions.
Iain raised questions as to the value of the “tax-free bike” scheme. He makes some valid points but I think it is necessary to look at the bigger picture; I am able to buy a £1000 bike for around £600. This is a clear incentive and is good for me, good for the economy, good for the environment and good for the government as well as I don’t clog the roads with a car and as a healthier citizen have fewer demands upon the healthcare system. Ironically, the only partner in this arrangement for whom I can’t see a direct benefit is my employer who has made the effort of offer the scheme to me and its other employees.
Andrew from Puglia (not Andrew from Reading – that is me!) posted a very complimentary comment about the blog: “…this is simply a fantastic site and brilliantly executed too.” I didn’t even pay him to say it. Andrew, as he explained, works in London but is from Puglia and has been thinking about cycling back to Italy for some time. His plan is to use the Simplon Pass and while doing his research, fell upon http://www.puglia2010.wordpress.com . I hate to quote him again but he does say that “Your site is pure heaven from my point of view”. I aim to please Andrew!
Moving on from his very flattering comments, he writes about Puglia and its interesting history. I am not going to quote his words here as I think they are well worth reading in all their detail. He mentions a book by Carlo Levi called ‘Christ Stopped at Eboli’ which is clearly worth a read.
Andrew’s questions about blogging en route and my response prompted Michael Musto to suggest taking a Notebook computer on the journey. My department at school have just invested in 32 of the things; I wonder if they would lend me one to take with me to Italy?
We’ll have to agree to disagree on some of the finer points of the cycle scheme. Maybe I’ll use it to get a dedicated commuter for the winter later in the year.
As for your employer not directly benefiting I think they do. Cycling to work creates a healthier, fitter and therefore happier employee. My sixteen miles to work gives a 55 minute workout for the body and for my mind to do some sorting out of the tasks ahead of me. The sixteen back home lets me work out any stress and give it a good hard effort. Mind you some weeks I need to have a drive if the weather has been particularly tough, if I need to replenish clothes or if i’ve detoured home to clock up some extra miles one night and the legs are fatigued. As I work in a new building and to encourage cycling there is a nice bike rack and inside lockers, showers and a drying room with large drying cupboards blowing hot air in to dry sweaty or wet gear making cycling very easy and little hassle.
That sounds like commuter heaven! I have a 1970s classroom and some school toilets to transform myself from cyclist to professional teacher 🙁