Monday, 29 March 2010

Journey to the West End

With the prospect of a national rail strike next week and the need to just get pedalling in the fresh air I plotted a route from Greenwich into Central London on Saturday. I used the Trek and it took nearly three hours. I used the Transport for London Journey Planner for Cyclists to plan the route on line and used the free TFL map I have, that are available in bike shops in London. I took so long because it was the Trek and I kept stopping to look around. I also lost the bike route briefly around the Blackwall tunnel.

The route was not too bad but this was a Saturday lunch time and therefore very little traffic. It was interesting to see the maintenance of cycle paths. Four stars to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets which had the best maintained cycle path along Cable Street which is a one way road. This cycle path keeps cyclist off the main busy and fast road ‘The High Way’ and the bumper to bumper traffic and parked car route, ‘Commercial Street’. The cycle path on Cable Street which runs in between and adjacent to both roads is a raised two way path clearly painted and paved in green. The height of the path stops other traffic from wandering into the cycle lane.

Worse cycle path,is any section in Silver Town in the London Borough of Newham. The council seems to think paths running outside near deserted industrial sites are a good idea. They are poorly lit at night and the roads are mainly gravel and full of pot holes. Minus one star to Newham.

It rained as I got to Algate and I took shelter until it stopped. I did have my big yellow cape but just didn’t fancy cycling in heavy rain as the path was now paved brick work. I used to think cobbled roads were quaint until I started cycling. They are lethal in the rain and I now just get off if I am not feeling confident. I can do large roundabouts but I am scaredy cat if I have to cycle over bricks.

I plan to do the same route with the Brompton over the Easter. I should be faster.

Nearly forgot. I wore my Clark heeled boots all the way. Very comfortable and dry. I didn’t get hot and sticky because I didn’t have any hills and I wasn’t doing any speed.


hawthorn said...

How far did you/do you have to go? coz adding 3 hours to either side of a working day is a lot!
Well done on the shoes front :)

Joseph said...

Great idea mapping out your route.

Although do be careful, East London is known for its dangerous (poor planned) cycle routes, and its prevalence of tipper trucks charging towards the Olympic site.

A good bit of advise I read was to take the routes which had no buses; I guess that is a fair point, but I would advise that you apply it to those streets familiar with HGVs.

Joseph said...

What am I talking about, you've preplanned your route.

Have fun, I'm sure it will take you a lot less time to travel the distance (roughly 10 miles?) Plus you will have some of the most pleasing views that London has to offer.