A distracted chauffeur is not usually a good thing. Sometimes though, we all need a distraction and during lock-down, mine was cycling. Back in March when cancellations were rife and business travel was being brought to an abrupt halt, it was a difficult time. During lock-down, there was no driving work so we closed the doors and took advantage of the furlough scheme. You might have guessed but I’m a workaholic. Like any addict, I need a fix of some sort. It left me looking for something to do.
If I’m honest, I was going slightly mad surviving Covid-19. Cabin fever was setting in and I really needed to be a distracted chauffeur to avoid the doom and gloom consuming the travel industry at the time. As well as home-schooling our children and starting home-improvement projects, I needed something to focus on – preferably something long term with a goal at the end. The weather was nice and the days were long, so dragging my old bikes out of the garage was a perfect solution.
The Old Days
Before family life became a greater priority I used to be a keen mountain biker. After my son was born, rides became less frequent on smaller routes until I almost stopped completely. Lock-down was an ideal time to get back in to it. The goal was to lose a little bit of weight, regain some fitness and eventually be able to ride to my local mountain biking trail (up-hill and ten miles away). In preparation, my diet changed, water consumption increased and I started road biking to ready my muscles. With a bit of commitment, things came together.
Sitting in a car all day long can lead to weight gain and a degradation in cardiovascular fitness. Cycling reverses this. Looking at the stats from the last six months, I cycled nearly 700 miles, climbed more than 45,000 feet, doubled my average speed and managed to exceed 40 mph on multiple occasions (downhill of course). In half a year my weight has dropped four kilos, my waistline has reduced (a little) and my fitness has improved.
Cycling in North Wales
North Wales offers real incentive for cycling. The roads are quiet, the scenery is superb and the air is fresh. There is nothing better than taking a few hours out of your day to ride. Especially when you ride to a forest, climb to a viewing point and take a break. Looking out at the world below gives time for reflection, time to switch off and time to remember what really counts in life. The ride home then demands complete attention as you weave through the trees at speed and focus on the best lines.
Being a distracted chauffeur is good sometimes. It offers a chance to step right back from the industry and consider a whole new world of potential. After the pandemic eases, the world that exists will present opportunities in the months and years ahead. It is a great time to consider a complete overhaul of our brand and how we present it to that big new world. Spending time on two-wheels (rather than four) has achieved a new, clearer perspective. Now that, is a bonus.