You definitely see things differently on a bike. I was in London last weekend, attending an Open University tutorial at the London school of Economics (though I am no economist – the OU merely uses the facility). I arrived at Paddington station on an early train from Cardiff . Unfolding my Birdy after disembarking, I noticed the travellers watching the train updates tick over. Who says cinema is dead?
I was headed in the direction of Holborn, favouring a route via King Cross and Bloomsbury. No doubt there are better options that offer less traffic, but I don’t know them and part of me enjoys the frenetic London activity. En-route I passed through Gilbert Place, a short lane that links Bury Place (on which you’ll find the excellent bookshop, The London Review of Books) with Museum St. The narrow nature of the road makes it feel like a giant brick vice, just waiting to be tightened.
At the end of Gilbert Place, a well-loved bike hangs from a lamp-post. Two people cross on the narrow pavement, making the bike – almost – appear like a portal to another dimension (one from which the locals flood out).
It would have been nice to spend the day exploring, but ces’t la vie. Can’t sacrifice an education for a few snaps and a decent cup of coffee (the café in the London Review of books pedals a fine line in cakes) . I was happy to settle for a brief spin of the legs in autumnal sun.
Incidentally, The London Review of Books stocks Boneshaker.