Having finally rid myself of the company car, I have spent a few weeks getting to grips with the combined timetables of the Docklands Light Railway, the London Underground and First Great Western Link. Whilst I have experienced the odd delay, on the whole the experience has been a positive one and has gone a long way to exorcising the demons of nightmare commutes into the West End from Sutton back in the ’80s. On Thursday, the final piece in the commuting jigsaw fell into place with the arrival at the local bike shop of my new Brompton, identical to the brochure shot below. Or was until I swapped the seat post for a telescopic one, added some Cateye lights and Brompton’s ingenious front pannier.
All this happened a day too late for me to show off the Brommie to the assembled monthly gathering of the Tower Hamlets Wheelers earlier this week. The Wheelers are a very active local borough group affliliate of the London Cycling Campaign and you will find a wealth of information, advice, advocacy, links and contacts on their site. After a few pints of foaming ale following the meeting, I rode back to the island with the Wheeler’s coordinator, Owen, through a full-on down pour. Soaked to the sink in seconds, I was soon seeking out the biggest puddles like a six year old on a new trike.
To finish on the same energetic theme, I am now less of a lazy illegitimate of late and have supplemented my bike usage with what almost resembles a regular schedule of training runs. Despite lingering lower back aches, I have been slowly getting into some sort of shape to tackle the Nike 10k night run in London next month. I was keen to pick up tips from fellow competitor Paula Radcliffe but I have to say that, and call me old-fashioned if you want but, wearing American Tan pop-socks and sitting on the kerb don’t seem to be the way to get to the finish first.
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