It’s been a long time since I started my Monday morning with a cycle into work. I’m glad I made the effort, because aside from the occasional idiot* on the road, I got to the office feeling relatively energised.
The roadworks are a problem, though. For the last two miles of my route, it looks like practically every water pipe in town is being replaced. There’s a whole stretch cordoned off on the approach to Parliament Square, then I cross the river and there’s another long section on Upper Ground, and don’t even mention Southwark Street, which is a nightmare! The worst thing about these roadworks is the fact they leave little room for cyclists, so you’re forced to deal with the cut-and-thrust of the regular traffic — and most of these drivers are so pissed off about being stuck in jams that they don’t have much tolerance for cyclists wanting to cut in on their road space.
Actually, I just remembered there’s also "roadworks" in Green Park — directly over the bike path at the Buckingham Palace end. They’ve been "thoughtful" enough to put up a sign which tells cyclists to dismount and walk around the affected area. Can you image that kind of sign being put up on a road, telling motorists to get out of their vehicles and to push them around the cordoned off lane? No, I thought not. Needless to say every cyclist — me included — simply ignores the sign and cycles around the traffic cones and metal barriers.
* My personal favourite was the middle-aged guy in his black 4×4 who slowed
down to let me cycle across the zebra crossing between Kensington
Gardens and Hyde Park only to gun the engine as if he was going to run
me over just as I was about to cycle in front of him. I honestly thought he was going to make good on his threat. I guess he thought it was a funny joke, because he leered at me over the steering wheel with a lopsided grin. I was too shell-shocked to react, but afterwards I wished I’d either stuck two fingers up at him or simply kicked his bonnet with a well-positioned foot.
Total distance: 12.54 miles | Ride time: 1hr, 15min and 48sec | Average speed: 10.50mph | Top speed: 18.6mph