First ride in London as lockdown eases

On Sunday our bizarre prime minister announced some incoherent changes to ‘lockdown’ here in England (the other countries of the UK remain unchanged). Nobody knew what they meant apart from the need to ‘stay alert’. But it seemed that the motorcycle press and some usually cautious biking vloggers interpreted the change as permission to get back on our bikes.

I hadn’t ridden my bike since the beginning of February when, luckily (that word is an understatement) I brought it down from its (then) cold and power socket-less garage in Cambridge to stay in London for the few weeks that I was away in Australia, with the plan to ride it back up soon after getting home.

So, today I took an intrepid ride around my part of London and over a couple of bridges – Tower Bridge and Blackfriars, both of which look beautiful from a distance but rather pedestrian, so to speak, when you are going across them. I wanted to make sure the bike was still working and that I hadn’t forgotten how to drive it. Of course I got lost on the way to Tower Bridge as the GPX track shows only too well. The ride was only 6 1/2 miles and much of it was spent at traffic lights but it felt good, of course, to be riding in the sunshine in marginally quiet London traffic. I will take a longer ride in a couple of weeks and get away from the capital.

getting lost wasn’t my fault

One day I must add up all of the penalty notices that I’ve got after travelling through, usually London, but other places too. So about 10 days after this trip I got a fine for being somewhere where motor vehicles are not allowed, spotted by yet another automatic camera. I thought I’d check it before shelling out because I had both the timed GPX track and my video of the entire journey so I could go back to the exact spot that the letter identifies. And yes, they were right, at the time they said this was where I was going (just by the Bank of England), blissfully ignorant of the restriction. I think its because I very rarely drive around the city and am more usually on a bicycle where you can go anywhere.

Just coming up to the Bank