Tag Archives: cycling

london 2012 part 1 : ‘transport’ for london

10 Jul

Things that are already annoying us about London 2012.

That the inevitable commuting chaos which is set to ensue is being addressed in the following ways:

  • a poster campaign in the tube suggesting we all find ‘alternative ways to get to work’. this is on a backdrop of a woman pole-vaulting across london. hmm, practical.
  • boris johnson is now being tannoyed over the loudspeaker system at all stations at all times. which makes pre-olympics commuting almost as painful as olympics commuting.

And most importantly, no matter how strategically I have been laying the groundwork, the likelihood of me pulling off the old ‘working from home’ lark is looking slim. A ten minute cycle door to door just won’t cut the mustard!

a slightly cyc-hotic idea

2 May

In just over a month’s time this half of the His and Hers will be heading south to Barcelona to spend a few days head nodding to the bleeps and wobbles at the excellent Sonar Festival.

And to get there I will be traveling… by bicycle. Yep, in a moment of bravado / stupidity / drunkenness, a good buddy and I thought a great way to warm up for a weekend of jogging on the spot would be cycling the 900 odd kms from Paris to Barca.

Usually in my travels around London I don’t use a map to guide me – I think that’s half the fun of cycling in London. Getting lost on the one way back streets and mews of Fitzrovia, or seeing how steely your nerve is when all of a sudden you’re heading into the Blackwall tunnel (this hasn’t actually happened to me, although the homing pigeon in me does have a penchant for lanes of the A40).

With the increased level of cycling in preparation for our impending adventure, without fail my geeky tendencies have come to the fore and I’ve been utilising a little technology to help out.

Bike Hub is a ‘cycle satnav’ app that uses Sustrans (pioneer of the ‘Safe Routes’ cycling in the UK) routes to plot quickest or quietest cycle routes in UK & Eire, and Cyclemeter is a GPS app that continually records your time, location, distance, elevation and speed.

What’s great about bike hub is that you have the choice of plotting a number of different route options – from simply A to B journeys or, if like me you want to do one long ride and end up in the same place, it will plot you a round route across whatever distance you want to go (brilliantly you can do it by points of interest – i.e. Pubs).

Once you’ve plotted your journey you can download the journey to your phone and it’s a Satnav to guide you on your merry (cycle)way. The other thing I haven’t mentioned about this very useful app is that its free!

The cyclemeter app on the other hand is more of a post ride / fitness tracker (this appeals to my competitive nature). You can plot regular journeys and sync them to your calendar to see how you’ve improved over time. Warning – if you’re anything like me it can make the journey to work slightly dangerous…  Yes I will make it to work in under 17 minutes!  (I am that much of a loser).

This app will set you back £2.99, but it can also be used for gauging running and walking, so I guess its worth the outlay.

From my pretty regular use of the app it appears to be pretty accurate – the only discrepancy sometimes seems to be with measuring fastest speeds.. However I quite like this, it’s flattering to think I could reach 65KM/H heading down Constitution Hill towards Buckingham Palace.. Watch out Sir Chris Hoy!

a wednesday riddle

25 Apr

So. What happens if you cycle past this particular purveyor of fine goods twice a day, five days a week?

I think you might just accidentally find yourself purchasing this little number…

I think I need to change my cycling route. Maybe.

Miu Miu: 150 New Bond Street. London W1S 2TU

shanghai cycle chic

17 Apr

We Londoners consider ourselves pretty chic cyclists. We have the Cityboys with all the gear and no idea (Ollie), the girls on Pashleys with baguettes and flowers in their baskets (me), and the gnarly old timers who swear at pedestrians and snarl at you when you pause at the traffic lights with them (George).

The Shanghainese take it to another level. Shanghai is wonderfully flat so everyone is on their bike most of the time. Initially nervous of cycling along an eight lane freeway, I quickly got with the program and realised it is the quickest and most scenic way to get around. Also, because of the traffic, nobody actually moves that fast. If you do get hit, it will likely be by a cab moving at 2kms an hour, so you should survive relatively unscathed. Dad (who lives in Shanghai), thinks the authorities are trying to phase out cyclists by making it more and more difficult for them to move freely, but I think that would be a travesty. We certainly would no longer be able to see sights like this:

Just catching a few zzzzs…

Group power nap…

While this chap’s not technically on a bicycle, the fact that he’s carrying around all those hazardous bottles of GAS merits his inclusion…

I just took these photos over a long weekend in Shanghai, but photographer Alain Delorme has seen some real crackers in his time:

I would say this just couldn’t be real, but having been to Shanghai a lot over the last couple of years, I can assure you that ANYTHING is possible.


underground oddness

13 Apr

As readers of the His and Hers might have noticed, our preferred method of travel around this glorious city is by two wheels vs. the cramped sweat box underground.

A good friend of ours who has to rely on the pinnacle of Victorian engineering to travel tries to temper the joy of the experience by snapping and sharing the great variety of oddness you get to see and experience on a daily basis through his “observations of the underground”.

Here are just a couple of our favourite photos from his collection..

Two forms of Victorian transport meet again… but in the 21st Century

All dressed up, but nowhere to go…

Photo Credit: WFS

But as is usual with these sort of things.. No matter how odd or strange us Brits are on our public transport, across the pond our US friends are sure to be bigger, better… and certainly madder!

Look what was spotted on the New York Subway..

The Underground. A great place to dice your onions.

why we love cycling..

14 Mar

…because you just don’t see sunrises like this from the depths of the Central Line.

his and hers cycling in london

And because I love going past the Albert Memorial every day. Did you know that after Albert died, Queen Victoria had a bath drawn and his clothes laid out every day until her death? Que romántico.