Tuesday, 5 July 2011

London is alive with bikes - of all sorts!

Coach travel can be fun. If you are going to be stuck in a coach for 5hrs then you need to take things to do with you to keep you busy. So here I am. My coach has just left Victoria Coach Station and is weaving its way through the busy streets of London at 5.30pm. It takes us about 45-60 min just to get out of London.

This time around I tried a different YHA - the one in Carter Lane at St. Paul's. It is a nice hostel. The room I stayed in was recently refurbished but as it was on the 3rd floor, I had to carry my rucksack, my Brompton business bag as well as the Brompton up 3 flights of stairs. That was less nice. I shared the room with an Australian lady who is seeking long lost relatives, a Scottish lady and two others who checked in at 12am! They were still very much asleep when I got up this morning.

It was very hot weather last night and I tried to leave the window open but as St. Paul's Cathedral is so close (one street block away) from the YHA, it sounded as if the bells were inside my room every time they chimed. And chimed they did! Every half hour.

My 'must-have's' for the YHA is earplugs and flip-flops. I really can't go without my earplugs. Living in a rural village has spoilt me for good as the nights are lovely and silent and the only thing I can hear is my other half's deep breathing (I don't want to offend him!).

Anyway, back to the YHA and bikes. YHA St. Paul's is in an excellent location. Paternoster Square is less than a minute away and lower down the street are plenty of restaurants to choose from like GBK, Strada and a Sushi Bar.
Next time (which is next week), I'm in Earl's Court YHA. I'm working my way through them all to get a favourite. The only one I will probably not 'do' is Thameside as it is near Canary Wharf. Really too far from the office.

I was cycling away from the YHA at 7.15am and joined the early morning traffic. SO many bikes! They are everywhere and really very demanding. I have become a bit more assertive and will now make sure that I move to the front cycle box at each junction. I even get annoyed if a car is blocking this box! Am I turning into a typical London cyclist?!

There are plenty of folding bikes about. Quite a few Bromptons and Dahons. The majority of bikes are 'normal' bikes though. I still get nice compliments from my colleagues about my bike and my courage to cycle in London. A lot of them has said that they will really NOT do that. Mmm. Makes me wonder if I'm really that naive and ignorant or just over confident?!