Sunday, 5 September 2010
Skyride London 2010
I cycled to Parliament Square around 09:30 to join the London Skyride and was surprised to see quite so many people already circulating.
Various areas of central London get road closures during the summer for all manner of reasons, but the Skyride, which only started last year, is a particularly good one for some casual sightseeing whilst pedalling.
This year's route was slightly different, with a one-way system along the Mall (last year was two-way) and Trafalgar Square removed but Parliament added. I'd originally thought this year's route may be longer, but I suspect its about the same as last time.
When I started out, there were still moderate amounts of free road and not too many stops at pedestrian crossings, which had special "stop go" traffic management. It was also relatively easy to get into St James' Park to collect one of the High Viz vests and check out the various exhibits and vendors sprinkled around the edge before heading for St Paul's Cathedral.
By the time I was at the far end (for me) of the route, by the Tower of London, there were some acute traffic management challenges, with what seemed to be an ever increasing volume of bikes pouring into the area.
The route back towards the Queen's house required good low speed steering and some effort to keep rolling forwards in places and back at Parliament Square we ground to a halt. It was all very good spirited though, with most people simply enjoying the experience and chatting amiably. There were plenty of younger riders, some notably loud ones with training wheels on their bicycles.
At the other extreme were the stunt bikes and quite a few silent carbon fibre speed machines, although most were circulating at the same leisurely pace.
Thoughts on the event? I'm guessing the organisers might be thinking about scale for next year. I suspect they have been caught out by sheer volume this time and may need a bigger circuit / set of circuits to cope with the volume. The same with St James Park, which is the refreshment and event area but was showing signs of becoming overwhelmed - at least on the ways into it.
Still good fun, and a positive contribution towards extending bike culture within London. Also checkout the pictures at London Cyclist