Month: March 2021

Lockdown 3: South. The commute into the metropolis.

And so this mini-series of lockdown/family history rides ends with an added sixth; south into the West End and City. It has been by far the most travelled route. No birthplaces or homes here, but for forty years a series of workplaces; St Paul’s Cathedral and other churches; Barbican and Festival Halls; Her Majesty’s (Phantom), Savoy (HMS Pinafore), Piccadilly (A Little Night Music), National (Sweeney Todd) theatres, and above all the Royal Opera House. Continue reading

Lockdown 3: North. Ham and High (Dollis and Pymmes)

The clockwise or anticlockwise spin round Hampstead Heath is my ‘local’, and at seven miles in its shortest form can be quickly done. But it also climbs to the twin high points of inner London, so it’s a good workout. The highest point, Whitestone Pond 134m, is also where I was born (in Queen Mary’s Maternity Home, just behind my right ear, now a care home), so the family and personal history sub theme of these six blogs is pleasingly maintained. Continue reading

Lockdown 3: Southwest. All routes lead to Richmond Park

In lovely spring weather, with blossom everywhere, I continue to log my favourite suburban rides – and clock up the miles for the cycle fundraising challenge in memory of my mother. The SW destination is always Richmond Park, and the traffic-free stretch (NCN 4) via the Royal Ballet’s White Lodge and Pen Ponds cafe through the centre of the park in particular, but variant routes to get there and back abound. Continue reading

Lockdown 3: Northeast. Spurs out; Epping, Walthamstow; Gunners in

Today I take a pre-equinoctial lockdown suburban ride in the only direction that permits a good section of Cycle Orbital riding – northeastwards. This is because I have a self-denying ordinance not to cycle on busy shared use paths and towpaths during lockdown, which rules out the accessibly close sections of the network (Hackney-Olympic Park-Greenwich) where it is heavily populated and busy. Continue reading

Lockdown 3: Southeast. Meet the ancestors

The third lockdown is as restrictive as the first, when we were in SW Scotland, but cyclists can spread their wings a bit for their daily exercise. I have found five fine basic routes – NE, SE, SW, NW and N, with variations (see footnote) – to use as on-road 20 milers, equipped with water, snack and a puncture repair kit, and thus wholly isolated throughout. They are extending my knowledge and appreciation of the metropolis. Continue reading