With a busy afternoon/evening scheduled involving lots of book-related engagements, I decided to squeeze in a morning cycle instead of pottering around the house.
I did a quick trundle to the other side of the river and back following the exact same route I did on Monday. Hardly a soul about and the traffic on Castlenau Road was practically non-existant.
I couldn't say the same for the bumper-to-bumper traffic heading into Hammersmith on the Hammersmith Bridge. The tailback stretched for almost a mile. Poor buggers. Wouldn't happen if they were on a bike!
Total distance: 6.45miles (10.37km) | Ride time: 35min and 43sec | Average speed: 10.8mph | Top speed: 16.4mph
My bike has been much neglected in recent weeks owing to the weather — snow, ice, wind, extreme cold — and my inability to motivate myself. This time last year I was cycling at least 10 miles a day, but that was in sunny Australia, where the only thing that put me off was the heat!
But here in wintry old London it's too easy to find excuses to stay indoors and hibernate. As a result, I've notched up the grand total of about 50 miles since the start of the year.
This morning, however, I was keen to start the week on a positive note. I dragged myself out of bed and did a quick 6-mile trundle, taking in the Thames tow path, Putney Bridge and the back streets of Fulham — all before the families on half-term break started clogging up the streets with prams and dogs and kids.
It was exhilarating to be out and about, but the ice-cold wind made my eyes pour with tears. And by the time I got in the door my hands were numb. By contrast, my feet, wrapped up in extra-thick woollen hiking socks, were cozy warm.
Total distance: 6.45miles (10.37km) | Ride time: 37min and 02sec | Average speed: 10.4mph | Top speed: 17.5mph
Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow calls for urgent action to boost cycling safety in London. The video above is accompanied by this well argued piece on the Channel 4 News website. Let's hope the government and the transport planners listen.