Monday, 5 April 2010

Solving the fear of cycling in London

Until recently, I’d always thought that cycling in London was the preserve of the fearless and the foolhardy. The few times I’d cycled in the city, I’d found it a nerve-shredding experience. I’d be pedaling happily along, turn my head to check behind me as one should, only to have a bus shave the tip of my nose as it thundered past at seemingly far greater speeds than I thought buses could attain. That was enough for me.

When braver, fitter, slimmer friends sought to encourage me to follow their lead by jumping onto the two wheels again I always trotted out the same old lines: the weather was too unreliable; that, as a teacher, I had too many books and other teachery things to carry to work; and that weaving in amongst the 73s and 38s along Essex Road was akin to smearing myself in fish guts and jumping into a tank full of great white sharks and piranhas. People would laugh at my worries but nothing would dissuade me from the certainty of my inevitable doom by a London bendy bus should I ever make the switch to pedal power.

But all that has changed


Er, by leaving London and cycling somewhere else!