A quick Google will reveal that there are few things worse for your health than cycling in London. This was exactly what was going through my mind as I set out on my 3 mile trip to The City, and I’m pretty happy to say, I made it!
Back home in the overcast mines of Manchester, cycling is the reserve of the Buxtonites, those who will brave any weather condition with their Cannondales, dressed head to toe in dirt gear, face caked with mud and a beaming grin after conquering the three peaks to get to work. When they’re not on the road they’re in the garage, polishing their derailleurs with one hand and reading it with the other. Most cycling is the reserve of these powerhouses. As such, as an average joe, you stick out, somewhat, from the rest of the imitation-preppy crowd. Not so in London.
Now it’s not Oxbridge where everyone and their mother owns a bike, but here bikes are cool. Suddenly owning a vintage racer is the done thing, fixies are more than an exercise device, going green and looking like a dishevelled, sweaty mess as you walk into lectures at 8:59 is celebrated; cycling is cool!
I managed the whole trip in under half an hour, factoring in time spent getting lost and hauling my unfit behind up the slow hills. It was liberating, watching 205 after 205 streak past knowing you made the trip in a fraction of the time. Admittedly, there were some hairy moments but they’re to be expected on my first day. All in all, I’m definitely gonna give this a second shot. And hopefully with the money I’ll save, I can upgrade from my 8 year old hunk of junk!