Tuesday, 7 September 2010

The best laid plans - London tube strike

Today the tube strike went ahead and I was ready for my trip to Finchley in North London. I usually go by tube (subway) and the closest mainline (overground) station was Hendon which meant a 30 minute cycle uphill to Finchley.

Step one: Get the map of the route. While Google Maps are handy they are sometimes not very accurate. I checked the Transport For London TFL cycle route, Google and Multimap. After this I just photocopied the relevant pages in my A-Z. I tapped in the destination into my iPhone Google map for backup should I get lost.

Step two: Work out how I get to Hendon. I went to the National Rail website. I discovered that once I got the overground train into London Bridge I could cycle to Blackfrairs Station and then get the overground train to Hendon and then cycle up to Finchley.

Step three: Check the bike and pump the tyres. My checking just involves looking (very technical), but I did pump the tyres.

Step four: Decide what to wear. The meeting in North London was formal so no jeans. I wore a dress which was cool and my purple rain coat as rain was expected. I packed a hat.

Step five: Choose shoes. I considered wearing my tan Office brogues which are my formal work staple at the moment but in the end I wore my flat suede boots. Comfortable but appropriate for the meeting and rain should I get caught. (These boots are waterproofed and have kept me dry in a heavy rain fall.)

Step six: Pack bag. Of course I used my Timbuk2.

What happened?
I got to London Bridge and discovered that the Northern Line t tube line was running with a reduced service. So I jumped on the train. I think if I hadn’t been worried about the work meeting I would have done the trip but I just wanted to get there on time. By the time the meeting was over I had a headache so it was back on the tube to London Bridge. I actually did less cycling today than I would normally do when I use my Brompton. Still flexibility is the beauty of having a Brompton.


J said...

The tube strikes don't appear to have really been that much of an inconvenience, or so I am lead to believe by the lack of reporting on such.

I wonder how the Boris bikes coped during the anticipated high demand.

As for the Brompton, it's brilliant, having such a bike in the city gives you the edge in self-reliance, no waiting around being inconvenienced by petty politics.

Cycling in Heels said...

You're right. I didn't hear anything about the disruption either.

During my first year there were a few times I would arrive at Charing Cross to get the train home only to discover no trains to Greenwich and it was fantanstic to have the option of going to Lewisham or getting the Jubliee line to North Greenwich and cycling the rest of the way.