Riding A Bike In That London
This weekend I was in That London for my oldest friend’s birthday party. An evening of booze and banging techno - I participated in the former, while enjoying observing the effects of the latter.
Anyway, I took the train down, which left me with the problem of how to get from our house to Newcastle (ten-ish miles), and from Kings Cross to Von Smallhaussen’s, where I was bedding down for the night?
Kind of obvious really . . .
I’d booked the bike on the train (you can see the reservation ticket on the handlebars), and was going to be riding in London.
It’s a simple enough route from King’s Cross to Von Smallhaussen’s in Hackney, but having never ridden in London, I was a little nervous - you read all sorts of horror stories. As it was though, bank holiday weekend riding was pretty much trouble-free. I had a couple of drivers dive in front of me to turn left (gimps), but nothing too close. Apart from those though, I experienced some remarkably good driving - even a bendy bus driver behaving as a model citizen.
I also watched other riders, and was pretty horrified at what I saw.
If the media as a whole, and the Daily Mail specifically base their views of cyclists on what they see in London, then it’s little wonder that they have such a low opinion of us. I didn’t actually see any cyclists stop at red lights; I saw riders sneaking up the inside of buses & lorries at traffic lights; I even saw one riding the wrong way around traffic islands to get past traffic and then shouting at the oncoming vehicles.
Maybe I’m just a hick up from the provinces for the weekend. My experience of driving in London has been that it’s a dog-eat-dog environment. But I was left wondering if the way to deal with this on a bike really is to ride to the lowest common denominator of traffic manners.
Surely we’re better than that?
- Type: Cycle
- Date: 04/04/2010
- Time: 18:07:42
- Total Time: 1:05:00.00
- Calories: 633
- Distance: 13 miles
- Average Speed: 12 mph