Thursday, 18 October 2012

Sustainable travel

Well, in my opinion climate change is a definite. Just this past week we have had everything from warm and glorious blue-sky days, to dark, windy and constant rainfall weather systems, with literally just hours apart.  It really is just a case of opening the curtains and looking outside for the forecast.

Monday was a fantastic day. It was pretty cold first thing but there wasn't a breath of wind. Taking advantage of the good weather I set off at 9.30am on my bicycle to tick off five chores I had to do that day. The route took me all over my home city of Edinburgh, at one point up a rather steep mile-long hill on the south side of the city. I attended a hospital appointment, picked up theatre tickets, dropped an item off at a friends, attended a meeting (after a Starbucks refreshment on the way!) and helped a friend out at this house. It was very satisfying to do all these things over the course of the day using my bicycle, powered by my own energy.

Tuesday looked like another great day, so I set off on my bicycle for my usual one-hour circuit in the morning in glorious blue skies with not a breath of wind. Twenty minutes later I was furiously pedalling home trying to stay ahead of an ominous black cloud. I didn't make it and arrived home freezing cold and soaked through.

Wednesday. Now we were thrown into an Indian-style monsoon! Waves were pounding the beach nearby and the rain was dense and heavy, not letting up all day. I was out in it several times during the day, wrapped up in waterproofs head to toe, but it still got through.

An Australian couple stopped me at one point to ask directions to an outdoor store where they could buy camping gas, and for directions to get out of the city to go north into the highlands. They were camping. Then they asked when I thought the rain would go off. I couldn't resist and replied, what month is this?

Scotland has always had a mixed bag of weather, with rarely two days the same, but this year has been more varied than usual and the weather systems have definitely been stronger and wilder.

It pleases me that at least I'm doing my bit to reduce greenhouse gases by using my bicycle to do most of my journeys in the city. Not to mention the benefits to my weight, fitness and the fortune I must be saving in fuel and parking fees.

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