Musings on London Cyclo-commuting

So tonight was my first commute to work on the bike, 6 years after leaving London after uni. I ve put some of my early thoughts below:-

  • 6 years out of London (3 in the UK, then 3 in The Netherlands) and I’m amazed by the amount of cyclists on the streets now! I used to go round Richmond Park and if it was busy there might be 1 or 2 cyclists 100m in front or behind you. There are now cyclists 10m in front and behind you. Likewise it was a busy day commuting if there were 5 of us at a Traffic Light but now there are commonly 5 or so, and usually moreI like this! I’m not on of those people that thinks cycling should be restricted to those that pass some unwritten taste. Plus it’s very hard to have a SMIDSY when it’s not so much “didnt see you”, but “didnt see 10 of you”. London traffic was always reasonably good to ride in once you’d become accustomed to the various foibles and intricasies but people largely seem to be better than I ve seen elsewhere.
  • It’s insane! I mean seriously it’s insane! it’s dangerous, it’s manic, and there is really is no reason for it. It is not a bike ride (for I’d guess 90% of the people I saw) it’s a flat out race. At one point there must have been 10-15 of us full on sprinting down High Street Ken, weaving in and out of cars, road furniture and whatever else was in the way.

There is a lot of stuff on the internet about turning the UK into The Netherlands (something I would support) but as well as along overdue change in the attitudes of UK road users to other road users but for it ever to work there will need to be a change in cyclists attitude too. A peloton of riders treating Piccaddilly like the Carrefour d’ Arbre is not the way to spread the message of cycling.

  • It’s fun, good god it’s fun. Sprinting around that taxi to squeeze into that gap in Hammersmith was great. Dropping that guy on the trek in the white shorts made me feel like Tom Boonen when he broke away in Paris-Roub….ah crap
  • I need a new bike, otherwise Ill just trash my nice one…as you can imagine, this is a major heartache 😉 Any idea of getting a fixie with no brakes has gone right out the window, there were a number of times I had to order All Ahead Stop! I need a lot of practice before I go pure fixed

Anyway, tomorrow’s a new day and a new commute! Whoop!


About ddraver

A Cornish petroleum geologist living in the Netherlands. Expect some stories about travels, comments of the perils of being an ex-pat and some mindless ranting/musing on cycling.
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