Things I saw on today’s commute

Empty roads: For some reason there was little traffic this morning, and I trundled along Hammersmith Road and Kensington High Street on my almost-lonesome. Is it mid-term school holidays or something? Or did I just time my ride well?

Frost: The parked cars in my immediate neighbourhood were all dusted with frost. When I got to Kensington Gardens the lawns were like white carpet, almost as if it had snowed overnight. It was really pretty, especially with the morning sun shining through the bare-armed trees and bouncing off the white ground. It was a bit like cycling through a Christmas card.

Daffodils: In the space of a week clumps of green daffodil leaves have popped up everywhere, and some are even in bloom. How did that happen?

Soldiers: Clarence House, where Prince Charles lives, has installed two sentry boxes, complete with soldiers, on The Mall. Normally the sentry boxes and soldiers are on the inside of the main gate, now they are on the approach to the gate. This seems to have happened over the weekend, because they certainly weren’t there on Friday. It feels slightly surreal to cycle within a few feet of them. I wonder what they’d do if I rang my bell?

Female cyclists:
On my ride home I stopped at the traffic lights at Hyde Park Corner and did my usual cyclist count. There were seven cyclists around me — and every one of them was female! Normally, I’m hard pressed to spot someone of my gender on a bike, let alone seven ladies all together and not a male cyclist in sight. Interestingly enough, all of us were decked out in the same "uniform" — fleecy Altura cycling tights and flouro yellow jackets — demonstrating the poor choice in cycling "fashions" us ladies must contend with. Any budding entrepreneurs would see the marketing opportunities here, as not every female commuter wants to don fat-hugging Lycra, and nor do we want to look like cycling clones.

Total distance: 12.37 miles | Ride time: 1hr, 13min and 16sec | Average speed: 10.72mph | Top speed: 18mph

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7 thoughts on “Things I saw on today’s commute

  1. It’s half term, that’s why it’s so quiet! It’s nice when you get a good sunny and frosty morning this time of the year isn’t it? The first glimpses of Spring…
    Normal service resumes next week.

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  2. After the madness of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens last week, when the sun brought everybody out, it was lovely to cycle yesterday in the chilly emptiness.

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  3. Karl, yes, have seen that site, but there’s something horribly voyeuristic about it that I don’t like. I think it’s the notion that these people are completely oblivious to the fact their picture has been taken and posted on the internet for all to see. If they had a choice in the matter, then I wouldn’t have so much of a problem with it…

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  4. I actually had that same feeling too . . . SO, I dropped them a line to ask, and in addition to quite a detailed response, they also sent me a link to this page (http://copenhagengirlsonbikes.blogspot.com/2007/11/freedom-to-ride-freedom-of-expression.html) about freedom of expression, Danishness and other stuff.
    While I might not 100% agree with what’s being said, I’d probably still go along with the spirit, in the same vein as something my wife’s octogenarian grandfather said at dinner once (I forget the exact context – make your own up!), “It’s legal in Denmark”.
    And looking through Zakkaliciousness'(one of the CopenhagenGirlsOnBikes bloggers) flickr photostream (at flickrDOTcomSLASHphotosSLASH16nineSLASH866756384 ), it’s clear that there’s far more than voyeurism at play here – this could even be art.

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