Friday, 3 April 2015

So I'm walking to work again ... if I can get up on time.

The days are getting warmer and longer. The sun has been out, at least some of the time. I've decided to start walking to work again, if not every day, then at least most of the time.

Work is about 3 miles / 5 km from home, and it takes 45 minutes to walk, irrespective of traffic conditions. By car, it can take anything from 15 minutes (rarely) to 30 minutes, depending on traffic, and including hunting for a car parking space and then walking in from the car park. It's a lot more consistent and direct on foot.

I'm fortunate because my route is via smaller roads, and a bit of farmland.

The last picture shows the Chelmer Valley High School,  just behind the hospital where I work. Yes, that white thing is the school observatory. Their head of science is a keen astronomer, and I guess he thought it would be a nice idea. It opened a year ago. I wouldn't have seen this from my car.

I used to cycle to work rather than walk. It's faster of course, which is good if you're not naturally an early riser, but on the other hand, there's more hassle and fiddling around with the helmet, parking the bike, and so on. You don't see as much along the way because you're going faster and have to concentrate more, and it's not so good if you like stopping randomly to look at things, or for popping into a shop on the way home.

I've decided that if time and distance permit, I generally prefer walking to cycling.

A couple of things I've found useful:
Waterproofs, just in case. Noise cancelling headphones, since it's annoying trying to listen to music in traffic, and turning up the volume is bad for your ears. And I've recently decided that for my route it's best to go in wellies and carry my shoes in a pack,

as it's difficult to predict how muddy things will get.

When I used to only drive to work, I thought that walking was totally impractical. It's always easy to think of reasons why not. I was somewhat put off when I tried it one summer, and was a bit over-dressed and under-hydrated. Nowadays, the main challenge is getting up a bit earlier, as I'm by inclination a late riser.

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