Being down here for two full weeks this month was the
opportunity to get London and biking sorted out. I started very tamely by
hiring a ‘Boris Bike’, as in the previous post. Thus terrified (by Tower Bridge
), when I needed to get from Euston station to Waterloo with my folding
bike, I looked at buses. Yes, there are two buses that go on that route but I
had forgotten the crowds and stress of London. I couldn’t easily find the bus
stop that I needed and decided that it would be easier to cycle them. The
alternative was folding up the bike, taking it and my bag onto the bus and
jostling for a space. Too hard – so I set off, following the bus route in that
time-honoured way that I used to travel around Dublin.
Cycling in London is pretty scary but was made easier by the
kamikaze cyclists who wove in and out of lanes of traffic. There were enough of
us to force drivers to notice us, so it actually felt quite safe. On the way
back through London, after a great few days at JSWEC2014
conference, travelling back
between stations made sense as it is so much quicker and less hassle, or so it
I didn’t have a lot of time for the transfer, but enough. I
set off from Waterloo and just as I was crossing Waterloo Bridge in the bus
lane, the heavens opened and huge raindrops flooded the streets. I’ve never been outside in such enormous
raindrops. The rain was accompanied by some thunder and lightening and a cross
wind. I was soaked to the skin in minutes but there was nothing to do except
keep going and the monsoon eventually stopped. I was so wet and the streets so
flooded that I forgot to be scared!
When I got to Kings Cross station, I didn’t win the wet
tee-shirt contest (L)
but didn’t have long to wait for the train platform to be announced. Once on
the train I was able to change every stitch of clothing. At this point even my
‘wet-clothes’ JSWEC bag was wet inside and out and my watch is still wet inside
the clock face.
Motto: wear a waterproof watch when cycling in London in
summer. I might also add not to put things which can be damaged by water at the bottom of your pannier – my camera was there and is pretty wet. The water came up from the road, through the bottom of the bag. Ouch!