Today I headed out into London to join the London Cycling Campaign's Big Ride.
The weather was inclement and the probability of worse imminently was high. Despite this I headed off in support. Regular readers of this blog will be pleased to hear that my breakfast consisted of porridge and a banana!
The Big Ride was a way for cyclists of all denominations to come together under the umbrella of sending a message to the mayoral candidates that our capital is in need to safer streets for those riding bicycles. The event was organised by the London Cycling Campaign and they did a pretty good job.
I met up with @icrazybee and his near legendary Brompton BumbleB. The first drama of the day was hearing a crash and then seeing a car going into the side of a taxi on Park Lane. It was great to see other Brompton's of course but the range of bicycles on display was breathtaking. I cannot guess how many hundreds of thousands of pounds of bike was out there.
One of the marshals was giving out some London Cycling Campaign hi-vis vests which I think were for other Marshals. @icrazybee and I managed to get one as a souvenir of our day.
There was quite a wait for the batting to start as Park Lane and the rest of the four mile route had to be cleared of traffic. Itching with excitement we waited for the off and after a little while we were. We got as far as the bottom end of Park Lane and waited for some of the organisers of the event to address the crowd. Considering the weather everyone was in good spirits despite being a little damp and chilly.
With cheers and bells we were off on the four mile traffic-free route. There really was a great atmosphere to proceedings as we passed many famous London landmarks. Tourists were amused and bemused in equal measure but the support from passers by was good.
All good things come to an end but there was an opportunity to go back the way we came. My intention was to have a quick burst and then return to @icrazybee who was taking photos of those who were just finishing. There was however a sizeable group of Bromptonians, perhaps 20-30. They started to speed up and were having a mini race. I could to resist and joined in reaching The Mall very quickly. I waited around for a short while but with no sign of @icrazybee I returned home.
I am really glad a went today. It really is an important message and if only we had safer, better and more abundant cycle routes more would ditch the car etc.., for a bicycle. Let's hope the powers that be take notice - for once.