So

So, I didn't cycle yesterday and I was grumpy as hell all day.

So, this morning, I was up and in the shower by 7am and out on the road at 7.40am.

So, I arrived to work very early and instead of heading straight to my desk I ventured to M&S Simply Food and bought myself a carton of tropical juice and some little pots of yoghurt. So, that's my breakfasts sorted for the rest of the week.

So, this evening, bearing in mind that Monday's stint along The Strand was choked with buses and taxis (and dozy pedestrians), I took my normal route south of the river, crossing over at Westminster and cycling around Parliament Square.

So, I have never seen so many police in my life, or, more to the point, so many police vehicles — they are being used to keep the Tamil protestors barricaded on the green — there's dozens of them parked bumper to bumper around the inner lane of the square.

So, I wonder how much money that is costing the taxpayer in police overtime?

So, I'd forgotten all the little things I see when I cycle, all the events that occur, all the landmarks I pass that make me realise how much I love London and, more importantly, how much I love cycling this city's streets.

A bug in my eye!

I cursed myself for not donning my sunglasses on this evening's ride home. It wasn't because the sun was blinding — far from it. It was more to do with the insects flying about. No sooner had I negotiated all the horrible bumper-to-bumper traffic along The Strand (mental note, don't cycle this way home again, it's far too fraught and bloody slow) than a bug flew into my left eye and then bounced right on out again! And yes, it hurt, thanks for asking.

I'd forgotten about the dangers of cycling without protective eyewear. Tomorrow I'll be making sure I have my sunglasses on my face, rather than floating around in my cycle bag!

Quick

I caught the tube in to work this morning and rode my bike home — in a light, misty rain — this evening. I followed my normal route home, via Parliament Square, and waved to the protesting Tamils as I sailed on by!

I have to say my ride home was exceptionally quick. I left my desk at 5.30pm and walked in the door at home at 6.05pm. Think it helped that there seemed to be little traffic on the road and that I caught most of the green lights. I wish it was always as easy!

A new route

A lot has happened since my last cycle — a holiday to Ireland, a major refurbishment of my flat and another visit to see my rheumatologist — but this morning I decided to stop putting it off any further: I jumped on my bike and cycled into work.

Fortunately, my Other Half tipped me off beforehand that the Tamils were still protesting at Parliament Square (they were there five weeks ago when I made a tentative and short-lived return to cycling) so I was able to pre-plan a different route.

I cycled up the Strand and Fleet Street, and crossed at Blackfriars, instead of going south of the river at Westminster, and I'm beginning to wonder why I haven't always done this. There were far less tricky junctions to negotiate and fewer motorised vehicles to deal with. My only problem was discovering that I couldn't make a right-hand turn at New Bridge Street. I had to keep going up Ludgate Hill and do a U-turn near St Paul's Cathedral.

This evening I had to leave the bike at work, because a package (a kitchen light) arrived for me at work that was too big to fit in my bike bag and which I promised the builder he would have by 6pm. That means tomorrow morning I'll catch the tube in and ride home… I guess it's a good way to break myself in again.

Oh, and before I forget, while at Hyde Park Corner this morning an older male cyclist with a Scottish accent pulled up next to me, made a comment about the chilly weather and then offered me a drink of his squash. I declined. But I guess it was nice of him to offer.