This is this morning’s view from my bike.
Three weeks ago, when I started my daily 12 mile (20km) roundtrip commute, I was too scared to cycle through Parliament Square. I’d get off my bike and wheel it along the footpath whenever I got to this very congested traffic roundabout. Now, nerves slightly on edge, I cycle through it, revelling in the knowledge that I’ve got this cycling-amid-London’s-crazy-traffic-phobia licked… as long as I don’t think about it too much beforehand, because that’s when the voices in my head try to talk me out of clambering onto my saddle in the first place ("remember the red bus that almost killed you, remember the red bus that almost killed you, remember the red bus that almost killed you" they mock).
Any commuter who thinks it’s safer to traverse the streets on the back of a bicycle rather than the tube or bus network has rocks in their head. You don’t cycle to escape the suicide bombers: you cycle to feel every nerve ending, every fibre of your being SING with adrenalin, fear and excitement. I truly don’t think you know you’re alive until you tackle the giant urban assault course which is London’s busy road network with nothing more than a helmet, a fluorescent jacket and some pedal-pushers for protection.
At the age of 36, I think I’ve discovered the meaning of the term ‘adrenalin junkie’… And I love it!