Enchantment on a bicycle

It’s getting close to the shortest day of the year now and according to BBC weather, sunrise is at 8:36am and sunset at 3:26pm in Aberdeen. However it’s light at both of these times, I guess because we get the sunlight before the sun appears on the horizon and also after it disappears.

The temperature range is around 1-3C at the moment. Most mornings I have to scrape the ice off the seat of my bike before heading out to school each day. Last week there was a very heavy frost and the entire bike was covered in ice. The kids thought this was wonderful and so did I. I love the cold frosty mornings when everything is covered in ice.

The pavements have been sprinkled with salt so they’re not particularly slippery. I don’t really notice the ice when I’m on my bicycle. I think it feels more slippery underfoot. The other morning I got back from school drop-off and the minute I hopped off my bike outside our house I slipped and fell over. Fortunately no-one was around to hear me swear. I haven’t seen anyone else slip over; I’m the only clumsy one, it seems.

Sometimes it rains when I’m cycling to and from school and you might think this is unpleasant but it really isn’t. There’s something about being out in the elements on a bicycle and travelling under my own steam that makes me feel truly alive and I love it. George Monbiot published an article today called Civilisation is Boring. He thinks that by wiping out so many other species on our planet we have lost some of the enchantment we might have had if these animals were still a part of our world. I agree with him of course, but I also feel the same way when I sit inside a car – as though I’m not really living and enjoying the short time I have here. When I’m outside on a bicycle I get this enchantment back. This feeling that I’m a living thing in the world and at the mercy of the weather. It’s a nice feeling. I think I must have been born to cycle.