My scooter and I are definitely still in our honeymoon period, and I’m conscious that if I’m not careful the blog will start to look like a scooter fan-boy site and bore most of you to death.
I promise I’ll try to have a second and maybe even a third topic to talk about very soon, but for now I’m afraid it’s biking all the way.
I went out this morning on my most ambitious route yet. I needed to buy a gift for someone of an electronic nature (the gift, not the someone), and where is the best location in London for electronics?… that’s right — Tottenham Court Rd. I actually used to work in Tottenham Court Rd a couple of lifetimes ago — managing the Tandy store in the late ’80s — so I knew the kind of stores there would have just what I was looking for. Plus it would give me some great experience of riding in the hustle and bustle of Central London, and if I took a round-about route it would help to put some miles on the bike. I can’t open up the throttle to full performance until after its 600 mile service, so I want to get the engine run-in asap.
The early morning rain had stopped but it was still grey and windy as I set off. I went there the long way — North Circular Rd to Hanger Lane, then A40 to Edgware Rd, then South to Marble Arch and all the way along Oxford St to Centrepoint before finally turning left onto Tottenham Court Rd. That was about 20 miles and took an hour because of the heavy traffic. When you’re in a traffic jam on a bike, you’re supposed to ride through the gap between the lanes of larger vehicles, hence jumping the queue. I went ahead rather gingerly, not wanting to incur White Van Man’s wrath by clipping his wing mirror. But of course soon I had a snaking line of more seasoned bikers behind me, revving their engines impatiently. Whenever I could I pulled in to let the “pros” zoom ahead, then resumed my careful creeping forward.
Once there I found a parking space pretty quickly. I parked for free and of course motorcycles are exempt from the Congestion Charge too. After a well-deserved coffee I went shopping, and soon found what I was looking for.
My shopping safely stowed in the space under the seat, it was time to go home. This time I took the most direct route, directly North up Tottenham Court Rd, through Camden, Kentish Town, Tufnell Park, and then Archway before heading up Highgate Hill.
My flat is precisely 4.6 miles, and 20 minutes away from London’s premier gadget shops. Yay!
I will try to talk about something else from now on. Promise.