A royal bike ride in London

Live from Hyde Park

I was planning on working Friday but the weather seemed pretty nice so instead I jumped on my bike and went into town to checkout the event that was The Royal Wedding.

As I made my way towards the city center I came across a couple of pubs and cafes that had TVs set up for patrons to follow. There should have be some 6000 street parties across UK and 800 in London and I came across one of them – still empty as people were watching the ceremony at home.

"Road Closed" for street party

By the time I reached Hyde Park the ceremony in Westminister Abbey had finished and I got to see people cheer and wave their flags as BBC broadcast from the park.

The Queen arrivesWave your flags!Union Jacks in Hyde Park

After that I tried to see how close to The Mall I could get but it was all full and closed off for more people. Instead I went to Trafalgar Square were huge crowds were gathered to watch the two big screens there.

People watching big screen at TrafalgarGetting pictures taken with Kate and WillNorwegians at Trafalgar Square

The Norwegian in the front of the last picture with the traditional dress might even be the same as Tina Omme i London spotted later by Westminster Abbey.

After that I headed east along Embankment and this part of town was completely empty so I could ride in the middle of the street as a couple of planes made a flyover.

Empty streets - Embankment

I was heading for Republic’s “Not the Royal Street Party” street party in Holborn that they had not been allowed to do in Camden. Instead they were in a nice little square with a park and great atmosphere.

Red Lion Square

There was a nice crowd of people, live band, delicious food and monarch mocking.

The "Queen" in a stockCrown strikeout

For the size of the event there was quite a lot of press people but I guess you can only send so many reporters to talk to flag waving royalists on The Mall.

A great day for cycling as I had a lot of roads to myself and it was great fun to see the royalists and republicans celebrating a day of all things British.

Spring cleaning bikes at the farmers market

Spring is here and it’s time to get the rust and spider webs off the bikes. I’m helping out in a local organisation called Cycletastic that promotes cycling by fixing bicycles, teaching how to navigate the streets, organising workshops etc. There are some really cool people involved and I enjoy taking part in the events put on. I can do the basic maintenance but still got plenty to learn so this way I get to help other people while I learn more about bikes; a true win-win 🙂

This Sunday we set up a booth at the farmers market in Queens Park and held the first “Dr. Bike” event of the year. Here is one of the guys from Cycle Training UK helping me out with a kids bike.

cycletastic at Queens Park 008

We had Ann to help manage the queue and with six fixers we had our hands on 41 bikes in four hours. Busy times but it was great to help people get their bikes back on the road.

Dr Bike at Queens Park

The cycling culture in London is still not that widespread but there are a lot of initiatives from the city and from non-profit outfits like the Cycletastic, Cycle Training UK and London Cycling Campaign. The people I meet from these organisations are really passionate about getting people to bike and it is great to see the grass-root spirit involved.