January. Its cold outside at 5 degrees Celsius but the wind is a moderate 15mph. It's blowing towards work rather than from it and the distance ahead is just 6 miles. Its a Tuesday.
The sky is clear and bright with a full moon and there is ice on the cars. The road is dry and grippy.
Jamie often complains about a lack of time: "It's all very well people riding bikes, but ordinary people just don't have the time.We have lives!"
Getting up, always bleary eyed at 7am, Jamie pulls back the curtains and notices the ice on their windscreen. "Shit! I should have covered it last night! Wish the forecast had said 'ice', it might have helped." Putting on the jeans and shirt Jamie stumbles down stairs, eats some breakfast puts their shoes and coat on and says goodbye to loved ones. The crisp air stings Jamie's face a little, hands are rubbed together and the usual 30 minute drive is cursed as the scraper is retrieved from the side pocket of the car.
Turn the ignition. Run the heater. Shut the doors for a moment and walk around the car with a can of deicer and slowly remove the frost. This takes Jamie about 10 minutes, but as soon as the drivers door is opened to exit the cold and enter the warm the inside of the windows all mist up. A quick Mr Miyagi of "wipe off" later, quite why this 80s film comes to mind during the exercise is anyone's guess, and we're off.
Jamie gets stuck in traffic for about 5 minutes in total. As they arrive they meet Kayden who has arrived by bike. A couple of small friendly conversations start and they go into work.
Kayden gets up at 7am. The warm allure of the duvet and the bodily warmth of another is hard to resist, as is another 10 minutes sleep. Work, or rather the contract of duty, calls, and a shirt and jeans are thrown on, some shoes slipped on and breakfast shoveled down the gullet.
Ice is expected by a winter cyclist. It is winter after all, so the "winter bike" has been well prepared and used well in advance. A quick wander outside into the road and the road surface is gently checked with the shoes. Ice all over the cars but the road itself is fine. Kayden's bike is a standard "hybrid" affair, slightly more upright and with 10 speeds they've fitted some semi-knobbly tyres that are wider than racing tyres.
The lock and work kit needed it slung into a small pannier bag, fitted to the bike, the lights lit and Kayden rides off. As they cycle they notice the drivers scraping their windscreens, but they're soon in the distance and Kayden is climbing the first hill of the day. Soon a second. Its starting to get lighter. Now at work a quick look at the watch: "That took 32 minutes to do 6 miles today! Bloody headwinds," they mentally joke.
Jamie sees Kayden as they walk from their car, the two friends say hello. "I wish I had the time to ride a bike like you, I just don't get the time," they comment.
"It took me 32 minutes to get here this morning. That's with all the traffic, too," Kayden replies.
Jamie: "45 minutes to get here for me!" The penny hasn't dropped yet. "The other half wants me to pick up milk and bread on the way home too! Petrol is costing me a fortune this week."
"Kayden...? Did you get out of work early?"
Kayden is unlocking the bike and setting off again having just bought milk and bread. "No. Left at 5.30 same as everyone else..."
The penny hasn't dropped yet...