Reasons why I don’t miss the tube

It’s been a week since my last post, but I’ve cycled to work three times since: last Friday (June 19); yesterday (June 24); and today (June 25).

Foolishly, I caught the tube on Monday and Tuesday, because I’d had two poor nights’ sleep and was feeling too fatigued to cycle. Getting back on public transport after a two-week break was HORRIBLE. I did not miss:

  • My short walk to the tube station which involves fighting my way through HOARDS of RUDE students heading to the local college
  • Hanging around the tube station WAITING for what seems like FOREVER for my transportation to arrive
  • Spending the entire 25-minute journey squished up against complete strangers in a HOT and OVERCROWDED carriage
  • Fending off those pesky free paper vendors (en route to the tube station in the evening) who won’t take NO for an answer
  • Finding out that there’s been an incident further up the line so all trains are stopping at Earl’s Court, so you’ll have to make your way home using alternative means of transport!!!
  • Eventually getting home feeling HOT, BOTHERED, SWEATY and PISSED OFF!!

Cycling these past two days has felt like a real treat. For some reason, the roads seem quieter than normal (is it half-term?? Even after 10 years, I never understand how the English school holidays work) and there seems to be fewer cycles on the road.

My journeys, in both directions, have been pretty quick and incident free. And tonight I notched up a first: the traffic light on the pedestrian crossing near Buckingham Palace was green when I approached it. I’m pretty sure every single time I cycle along here, which is literally HUNDREDS of times, it is red and I have to stop. Sometimes you gotta count the small victories where you can!

Happy summer cycling everyone.

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4 thoughts on “Reasons why I don’t miss the tube

  1. I don’t have a blog of my own but this seemed to be a good place to get something off my chest. And who knows? Someone might read it.
    I’m a daily commuter cyclist, travelling about 9 miles all year round from Bromley to Westminster.
    There was a terrible accident today (Monday June 30) outside Oval Tube station. It’s a very busy crossroads with lights where the A3 runs across the A202.
    A woman cyclist was crushed by a tipper lorry as it turned left on to the A202 towards for Vauxhall. She has died.
    I didn’t see the accident, but it must have happened right in front of me. One second we were all looking at the lights to pre-empt them and jump across, the next everything had stopped.
    From the flow of traffic I am guessing one of two things happened.
    One, the woman was travelling quickly, also wanted to turn left and attempted to undertake the lorry on the corner. She misjudged it and the second set of wheels caught her from behind.
    Or secondly, the driver did not indicate left and flattened her as he swung in. He has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving. Draw whatever conclusions you wish from this.
    Looking at the stats for London accidents, it is clear a disproportionate number include cyclists and lorries. And of these, quite a few seem to be women.
    Either way, please, please, take this to heart and tell your friends to tell their friends, and not just them but any cyclist you see at a traffic light:
    LORRIES IN LONDON KILL – NEVER LET DOWN YOUR GUARD.
    Thanks, I feel a little better for that. Spread the word.

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  2. I’m sorry to hear this. HGVs give me the heebie jeebies. I never used to see them on my route, but since I’ve changed it slightly I come across them all the time, usually down The Strand and over Blackfriars Bridge. The safest thing to do is to keep a respectful distance from them — and to never sit near them by the lights, or try to undercut them, and to expect them to turn left even if they don’t have their indicators on.
    Sadly, some cyclists don’t get it though. I remember not that long ago stopping behind a bus that was sat behind a HGV and yet several cyclists inched past me to filter up beside the bus and the HGV. It was a very tight squeeze — long and narrow. I told one girl who bumped past me to go up the “passage of death” that there was a reason I was sitting behind both vehicles and she better bloody be careful. Thing is, she was wearing an iPod so she didn’t even hear me…

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  3. Amen to that. I remember after my bike was stolen I gave up cycling for a few weeks and I took a while to get back into it giving excuses such as “I’m tired” or “I don’t want to arrive at work sweaty” – the fact is cycling gives me far more energy than jumping on a tube and tube journeys leave you feeling just as unclean as jumping on a bike. Best way to approach it is to just not think about it and jump straight on the bike automatically

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  4. Totally agree. If I wake up and think about it, I end up catching the tube. But if I just get up and get ready, then I will get on the bike. The thing is to simply make it a habit.

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