35. On Your Bike, Dahling: A Little London Cycle Ride

I like to moan. After six years of trudging my way around London using her myriad of slow bus routes, crammed and overheated tubes and delayed national rail connections, moaning about public transport became part of my daily life. “Sorry I’m late, the tube…” is often enough to guarantee kindly glances from fellow tube warriors.

When my mother finally called my bluff and bought me a tinsel-clad, basketed bicycle for Christmas this year I worried. Then I moaned again. The realization that I would actually have to take to the roads myself made me feel ill. Moaning and being late is one thing, but the certain death of roundabouts, main roads, buses – good god!

Then I thought back to one Sunday spent on a borrowed bicycle with my friends Julia and James. I have adopted the slow, laid back attitude to cycling that I perfected on this route ever since. So, if the above rings true then please borrow or “Boris” a bike and give this little beauty of a ride a go. It is a wonderful introduction to cycling and the leisurely enjoyable pace is something I have carried onto the once scary roads. Those buses just have to wait I am afraid!

Head to Kew Bridge station with your bicycle – you can take the train! As you cross the bridge you happen upon a pleasant green to your left. I feel you have now done enough exercise to earn you a stop off congratulatory pint on the green at the Greyhound. As you sip on your drink you can watch the cricketers from afar in their whites.

Get back on the bicycle and head towards the river, when you find the footpath on which to cycle head towards Chiswick Bridge. This jaunt is a lesson in all West London has to offer. You will see families walking dogs, rowers practicing their skills on the Thames. Boring? Too Posh? Expensive? Wrong. It’s lovely and it’s a Sunday and it’s England- embrace it! (There are even a few public houses on the way.)

Cross the bridge when you get to Chiswick Bridge and turn left onto Hartington Road. We will now do some road cycling and this road even has a proper cycle lane.  By the time you have gone straight over a few mini roundabouts you will have earned your pint in The Bull on Thames Road. They have some benches and chairs on the river. Across the road is a lovely restaurant called Annie’s if you fancy some food– simple, lovely food.

Sometimes, floating around Old Street roundabout I even close my eyes and remember that day in the sunshine cycling along the river (do not do this, I am stupid.) See you at the back of the queue in the bus lane fellow ambling cyclists!

Author: Emily Turner

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