Preparations for any ride begin with fuel and weather in order to make decisions on what to eat and what to wear. My recent journey on the I Quit Sugar diet has been such an eye opener. Stocking up on the amount of carbs related to the amount of cycling I would be doing had taken place the night before. A pootle around London didn’t require too much energy and definitely no cake!
Focussing on the weather forecast, the day ahead was looking particularly bright and sunny. In contrast, once outside, the cold air confirmed the joys of a Brora cashmere jumper and two pairs of matching socks!
The recent 100km (62 miles) ride around The Kennet Valley in the As Bold As jacket from Velorution proved that it was up to the mark in terms of performance, temperature control and, as it turned out, hailstorm survival!
These excursions on the Boardman put it at centre stage as choice for the days ride and in no time at all I found myself at Wellington Arch. The Household Cavalry had just left and a group of friendly cycling peeps were standing in the sunshine chatting. Several I had never met and others I hadn’t seen for too long.
Most, if not all are The Fridays peeps. Ego free, incredibly kind peeps who leave their speedy legs behind and whose only interest is in how you are. These Sunday London Rides are the rides that launched me into the world of cycling. Week by week my ability to cycle faster and further increased enough to eventually join them on their Friday Night Rides to the Coast. But it all started here, with these fabulous cyclists.
Dispersed into various conversation, we rode down Constitution Hill until we caught up with the Household Cavalry which gave us all an opportunity to practice our track standing. Around the front of Buckingham Palace (without Alice) and along Birdcage Walk.
St James’s Park was looking particularly spring like. Crocuses amongst the daffodils, it is quite exciting that we have an hour less to wait for summer when the clocks go forward in two weeks.
Slightly surreal, Big Ben was hidden by early morning fog. As we made our way to the Embankment, confusion as to whether the cycling infrastructure is yet open was made clear by large Cyclists Lane Closed signs.
Through the City to Philpot Lane where we stopped to hear about London’s smallest statue. Another fabulous opportunity to discover monuments and history within cycling distance of our front doors even if this particualr tale was little grim. Onto CS3 Cable Street and a prime example of a cycle route that would work much better as a BMX track – bunny hopping to avoid the litter, dropped kerbs and in some places complete changes of direction.
At Trinity Buoys Wharf the views over the river were stunning. We sat outside the café in glorious sunshine looking at the Gondolas of the Emirates midair, currently closed for maintenance. It was like a ski-ing holiday without the snow! Also a perfect opportunity to catch up – after way to long with Velovoice and amongst other things discuss her new bike build.
Breakfasts devoured, conversations completed (partly at least) we headed off into different directions – some North the others South.
London on the way home was shiny, bright and sparkling. Cycling around Parliament Square Big Ben looked splendid. Fridays on Sundays. What a great day! Pics here: