I’m jealous of London’s cyclists, last year it was clear the estimated 40,000 who participated in the London Freewheel had a great time and I’m sure this year’s event will be just as successful when it takes place next month.
It must be great fun to whizz past famous landmarks on roads normally full of cars, but sadly I’m cursed with no sense of balance and were I to take to the streets on a bike I’d end up an unwelcome addition to London’s road accident statistics.
In fact, I’d probably end up being the cyclist who really did get killed by a bendy bus, finally enabling Mayor Boris to point to a specific example when he next vents his understandable hatred of the articulated and characterless buses.
Instead of cycling I tend to enjoy the capital on foot. In parts of the capital it seems impossible to walk more than a few yards before finding a plaque, notice or inscription explaining the history of a park, a street or building. Great architecture, spanning almost every age and style, and an endless list of statues and monuments make a walk around London a voyage of discovery.
On that note I’m looking forward to visiting the Battersea Power Station which is open to the public this month. But as enjoyable as it is, I suspect walking isn’t quite as exhilarating as racing around on two wheels looks to be.
In a couple of madder moments I’ve toyed with popping out to buy a bike and braving the closed off streets for the Freewheel but more likely I’ll be watching the event from afar and wishing I was taking part.
By the way, if like me you can’t cycle but have a few hours to spare on the day and would like to be involved, the organisers are looking for non-cycle marshals to help the event run smoothly. There’s a free lunch in it for the successful applicants.