After 30 years of commuting all year round, think I am finally giving up. I have noticed the roads are much more of a free-for-all these days with traffic signs and lights being treated as a suggestion-if-you-please rather than something compulsory. With age creeping up on me and constantly on the lookout for the never ending mobs of ear-plugged pedestrians, cyclists with no rear observation (and earphones) U-turners, …you all know - the list is endless - there is no enjoyment anymore. It really is chaos out there.
They have all finally got to me and I am admitting defeat. I’ll sit on the train for a bit, relax and read a book and arrive at work a bit more less stressed. I’m gonna be a weekend rider only. Yes - that was hard to say, but I think the time has finally come.
For those of you that can still hack it - you have my massive respect and admiration. This old(ish) boy has finally admitted defeat.
Ride safely everybody.
Sit…on the train, don’t be silly and don’t even think there will be room enough for you to read a book in rush hour, you’ll be standing up with someone’s armpit in your face!! And stress free and trains don’t go together, late trains, delays, strikes!! I’d say even with all that other stuff making you want to give up commuting it’d still be a better option than the train
Well said, and hope you will find peace in the land of passive commuting.
I guess you will be back on wheels but don’t try to prove anything to anyone, your happiness and safety is always most important, remember that.
I personally get way more stressed having to share my space with smelly rude people than I get on the road every day.
But I’ve only done commuting for 10 years, maybe it’ll get to my nerves too one day.
respect to you mate.
I’m threadders with it already and its only been five years! I’m road riding less and less these days… BUT on a lighter note, I did the Kent Fire Bike skills day today at Brands Hatch and I must say its a really good day, even if it may be aimed more at newer riders. It cost me fifty notes, and covered road-craft theory, slow maneuvering and emergency stops with IAM instructors, a one on one road ride assessment, first aid and helmet removal, and finally two sessions on track.
The day-glo men did attack me for two finger braking (even though I blew his mind minutes later on the front brake only emergency stop), and various other frowned at machine control, but it was still worth it.
Sorry for the thread hijack!:ermm:
Whats wrong with 2 finger braking ? I thought all the fingers was an old school thing from back in the days of drum brakes and levers that could be pulled to the bars ?
IAM day-glo wizards with their old fashioned outlook. Though saying that, he could see that it worked all right!
Geeze… Giving up being a London Courier was a hard choice after my last smash. Think riding into work, then riding off to do another 200+ miles with eyes in the back of your head, your balls in one hand and a lucky charm in the other…
It’s harder to give up the marathon than a sprint twice a day. Just thinking about it brings it all back. God I miss the adventure 5 days a week…
I have to say, I’m not looking forward to the day when I know I’ll hang my kit up for the last time. This motorcycling lark gets right under the skin.
But, I have to agree on the free-for-all comment. Its getting worse by the month. The rule books been thrown out the window, probably due to their being no-one around to do the telling off.
I have only been commuting for the last few months into town, and it is chaos out there.
I thank the road gods, Mr Suzuki and brembo brakes, each day I make it to and from work in one piece.
I totally get what you saying - it’s nuts out there.
First few years of commuting I used to be quite gung ho and enjoy it - who needs an xbox if you commute into London on a powerful bike.
But these days it’s just tedious - I’ve been thinking about the train too - I’m sure I’d turn up for work in a better frame of mind.
The worst thing is the disregard for red lights.
I suppose I know no different being a new rider and fairly young. That’s not to say that I don’t arrive at work stressed out and wanting to thump somebody, whether I ride in or tube it in. I can’t wait to move out of this city. I like that there is always something to do in London, but it’s way too overcrowded, no community spirit, everybody is rushing around at 100mph and there’s no (on the most part) consideration towards other people.
A big culture shock for a Valley boy.
Respect to you. I commuted by push bike for 10 years before I got the bike a couple of years ago so I feel safer now than I did, so I guess its all relative, but God knows what it will be like in another 30 years, shudder to think.
I also think it’s worse if you are coming from the east and south east, west seems much less frantic and more predictable, but maybe it’s just the route I choose, and the fact I know the area much better.
I give up and only enduro/mx and tracks / green lanes for me now.
I have a theory on this and it applies to a lot of things in life:
The older you get the more **** you see so the more **** it seems when it reality it could be the same amout of **** or even less ****.
For instance we have record low deaths and accidents on the roads but people think its worst
For example when I was a fresh faced courier a few times a day I would be in life ending situations after four years of this I stopped it but now I had four years of stomach clenching moments in my memory banks. I went travelling for two years then came back to London and started commuting. I couldnt believe how easy it was and how civilised things had become…because compared to being a courier it was a breeze and also my memory deleted some of the more scary crap. I have now been commuting for 12 years and again it starts to build up. I dont think it is any unsafer than a few years ago and the stats back that feeling up.
It like when you get older and you remember how you when you were a youth how good things were etc etc…every generation says the same thing because our brains have rose tinted glasses and you forgot what a pr!ck you might have been at some points.
The older you get the more crap you see and experience and think its getting worse but in fact its just that you have lived longer and seen more of it and more of it builds up in your cupboard of memories.
all media exposure counts for a lot…in the seventies and eighties people barely knew what was happening outside their county let alone overseas. Most parents now for instance are so fearful that their kids will get abducted and so our kids dont have the freedoms that we did …yet abductions etc are at record lows …cause if someone dissapears in the outer hebredies it is national news.
thanks you for reading my rambles.
so in summary I dont think its any worse!
I completely know the feeling… After my accident in January, I realised that I was going to work in London, doing a 2hr trip on a motorbike when for 80% of the time, I could have been going to our Epsom office. A lot was to do with going to N. London for my training but I now realise how tired I was because of the whole thing…
Now I’ve got a bicycle so when my shoulder heals up, most days I will do the 1.8miles to epsom on that, or take the local bus if it’s raining… If I have to go to London, I will take the train as I can get a seat everytime and it only adds half an hour on my trip. I’ll still ride occasionaly there when I have to do sth in the evening or meet the emissues but the day in day out to london is over for me…
I’ll probably end up commuting to london again when I get a new job but I’m trying to avoid that as much as possible.
My commute to uni is fairly civilised by comparision, so four years of that didn’t bother me. Neither does it bother me making the occasional trip round the A406 to the Ace. If I HAD to take the 406 every morning though, I reckon I’d quickly begin to resent it.
I did 90 miles a day for about 7 months and after 2 crashes I quit. I won’t ride in London unless it’s absolutely necessary.
the train is the same time for the same cost as petrol money. sometimes I don’t get a seat, but it’s a small price to pay
I had one accident - rear ended by MOPED! , lots of close calls, one very close on hanger lane lad just pull on front of me (from Infinity I was on roundabout down to A40), 2 road rages with my GP gloves on hands so it wasn’t good final for sc%m bags ;).
I don’t need this so tube or cage for me at the moment. Lost very good friend on bike (drunk BMW driver kill my friend and pillion passenger).
“Respect to you. I commuted by push bike for 10 years before I got the bike a couple of years ago so I feel safer now than I did, so I guess its all relative, but God knows what it will be like in another 30 years, shudder to think.”
Likewise, I cycled for 20 years, on & off, across SE London. 250 miles a week but only came off a few times. Mainly due to poor road conditions. I gave it up when I realised I could let an engine do all the hard work lol.
Im lucky though in that working nights I go against the flow & coming home, the roads are empty.
Im of an age to remember what it was like and often think is it me or everyone else? Ive definitly decided its everyone else. People’s attitudes have become worse. When I cycled, I used to stop at red lights! Shock horror. So did the majority. All I see now, is this “yeh, yeh, so what, fcuk you attitude” from everyone. I think as time progresses, people become more accepting of the crap they put up with. Then as each new generation joins, they just assume this is how it is…the norm.
Having had the pleasure of spending more time outside London over the last few years, ive realised, its still busy elsewhere but people havent developed that selfish attitude yet. Im still constantly amazed when i see two lanes which merge into one & cars will queue up in one lane, so as not to be seen as jumping in front. Can you imagine that in London!?
Ive did the 9-5 thing for years, hated it. As for getting the train, sharing everyone elses BO, with their ipods hissing. Nah, youre good. Ride during rush hour? Madness.
Get another job. One you enjoy, preferable outside London. When I changed careers, best choice I ever made. Less money but less stress…and you cant take it with.