Sunday, 4 September 2011

Cycling London Skyride 2011

It's the third London Skyride I've cycled, each year with a slightly different route. This time I arrived quite early (before the official start time) and that meant I could crack around the mainly flat route relatively unimpeded. An addition this time was a short spell south of the river over Westminster Bridge.

By the second loop (Westminster/ Buckingham Palace/ The Mall/ Trafalgar Square/ Whitehall/ Embankment/ Blackfriars/ Tower of London/ Embankment/ Westminster Bridge/ Waterloo/ Parliament) there were a good number of people joining in, but the route was still free-flowing.

Already there were a wide variety of cycles, from super fast carbon fibre machines being spun by Great Britain athletes to trikes and mini-bikes with stabilisers being driven by four-year-olds. Not forgetting the penny-farthings, recumbents and vintage steel frames.

There were also noticeably more of the London cycle scheme bikes being used this time. I guess now they are access for all it makes it a lot easier. Everyone was smiling and I could see proper shadows on the ground.

This was a good moment for a brief stop and a chance to take a few pictures in St. James Park whilst sipping a cup of coffee (free Gatorade for all if preferred) as well as a short listen to the entertaining (don't know name) rock band. See if you can spot the 'friends of the band' in amongst the photos?

On circuit three there were rather a lot of traffic jams caused by the reported 60,000 people attending the day. There were also a few minor spills, which seemed to mainly involve a few tearful younger ones who had slid to the ground. The general spirit was very good-natured with everyone giving way and generally enjoying the views around London.

My cycle helmet and the high viz bib provided helped keep the spots of rain away on my final lap although the sky did look as if it was getting ready for something more significant.

logoGreat fun as London and Great Britain also becomes more bike-friendly.

I noticed my tee-shirt is looking somewhat the worse for wear as I returned home.


Ellie said...


Pat said...

As long as it is only your t shirt that is worse for wear you can't grumble.

Nikki-ann said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the ride... It's all hills around here! :)

rashbre said...

Ellie/Pat/Nikki-ann It seems to me that there have been some sensible efforts to try to improve the access for cycling in London. The Boris Bikes, the new lanes, improved boxes at traffic lights, the Skyride to promote cycling, the monthly led rides into the centre, extra bike racks in the street.

There's stil a surprising (to me) amount of hostility from some about all of this, but it would be great to see the middle part of London become genuinely cycle friendly - and that's really my agenda for publishing the occasional pro-bicycle post. And yes, I was out on a bicycle again today.

Lady Banana said...

Good job you did do it early as it rained heavily later, I was thinking of those poor cyclists.