According to the advertising slogans, it's quicker by bike. What they forget to tell you is that it's cooler by bike, too. I'm talking cooler in the literal sense, because even though we're supposedly in the grips of a heatwave, I'd much rather ride my bike to work than get cooked in a tube carriage.
This morning was a slow start for me, mainly because I didn't get much sleep last night, so I headed out much later than normal. It was 8.15am before I was on the road — and boy, were there a lot of cyclists out there, particularly the first half of my journey. I seemed to lose a lot of cyclists as I trundled up The Strand, which was relatively quiet, although I still had to fight for road space with taxis, buses and HGVs.
A pleasant breeze meant I didn't feel too hot during my cycle and it was pretty much the same on this evening's journey. In fact, this evening's ride was an enjoyable one. I think the heat must have scared a lot of pedestrians and tourists away, because the usual free-for-all at Hyde Park Corner was non-existent. Or maybe it was the rain?
Did you see the early evening downpour? Because I didn't. And yet when I got home I noticed there were puddles by my front door. Turns out there'd been a shower an hour earlier but I seemed to have missed the entire thing. I'm pretty sure it hadn't rained in South London when I left the office, so maybe it only happened in West London.
Either way, rain, hail or shine, it's still cooler by bike.