In case my earlier post suggested otherwise, I just wanted to say that, most of the time, cycling in London is awesome — for these reasons:
- My commute gives me an hour or so of daily physical exercise.
- It gets me to where I’m going on time.
- It’s way cheaper than the tube.
- When you do have to spend money — BIKE GEAR! — it’s generally more satisfying than the monthly spend on public transport.
- For me, it’s the quickest, most practical way to get around London.
- You get to see cool stuff.
These last two points were brought home to me recently when I was working on a video project that involved several locations across central and east London.
We had one day to get the shots. Our team of two — me and the immensely talented Tom Wootton — was solely bike-powered. All our gear fitted into a pannier and a backpack. A judiciously applied bungee cord took care of the tripod.
Throughout the day we zig-zagged from location to location, with time for lunch at look mum no hands. Some unknown setback had choked the roads with traffic. No-one was going anywhere — except the cyclists. We coasted past.
The bulk of the filming was completed that day — an impossibility if we’d used any other form of transport. Even a motorcyle would have struggled due to its need for a dedicated parking space. But a bike can be wheeled inside or locked, with due diligence, to a lamp post or railings.
Late in the evening I cycled back home over London Bridge, the city, the river, all glittery and magnificent.
It was awesome.
And here’s the completed video.