Having recently moved flats I took my phone out this morning and keyed in my works address to find the quickest route to work. Google maps threw out several options with varying degrees of cycle paths. I choose the quickest route. Incidentally, I listened to a podcast today about what I’ve just mentioned. I am not alone in asking google for the quickest route for my commute. So this got me thinking about my commute home, was the “faster” route really worth it? It would only get me home about 5 minutes quicker according to google. So as it was a nice day I decided to take the alternative path, the “slower” route. It’s easy to get caught up in everything and not be present when you continually take the same route. So was the alternative route any better? Well, the first section was exactly the same there’s really no other option other than a large detour. Plus I mostly enjoy the cycle through the meadows and you always have to stay alert as people still aren’t quite aware of cycle paths in Scotland. Some people seem them more as suggestions (cyclists and pedestrians alike), I feel this is a problem that will only be solved as more paths are built and more cyclists use them. The first different thing to appear on my cycle home was the bridge over the canal being lifted to let a barge through, so this caused me to lift my bike onto my shoulder and climb over it. Misty is not a light bike especially with a pannier attached. From here is was pretty clear sailing (or cycling) along the canal, it’s a route I am well acquainted with due to my cycle to uni. Nothing new here, the usual walkers and joggers were out in force as it was such a nice day! It was really lovely to see the canal in the summer and everything was so green!
Then I had to come off the Canal and go down some stairs to get onto the Water of Lieth, this part was new to me. Lucky the stairs had that handy little bit to the side for me to push my bike down or rather because of the weight on the back of Misty, it was more like me being pushed down the stairs. However, once down the stairs, I had a lovely cycle alongside the river. It always amazes me how Edinburgh has these pockets in the middle of the city that makes you feel like you are in the countryside.
So this cycle was significantly slower by 10 minutes, probably because I was cycling slower and actually enjoying the cycle home. But it also got me thinking, is the reason I cycle not to actually enjoy myself on my commute? Is this not why I take my bike instead of the bus? On the plus side, the longer cycle is still quicker than the bus too. The only downside of this route is, it is in the woodland so with our summer rain it does get muddy. So maybe I will still mostly stick with the faster route but I will defiantly mix it up with this other route!
Have you recently taken an alternative route to work? If not I challenge you too! Cycle or walk down the alternative route and regain the power over your commute!