So last night I was rehearsing on Bishopsgate, near Liverpool Street station and I made a promise to myself that I would cycle home if we were released by 8pm. The rehearsal started at 6.30pm and the maestro was attending so in all probability we'd limp out at 10pm, or so I thought....
On the way there I crossed the river twice to avoid the mess of the Strand and Holborn. I went past the Houses of Parliament to cross at Westminster. On my way I was stopped TWICE for royalty. Princess Anne went through Hyde Park and then an unidentified royal, possibly one of the princes, stopped me near Buckingham Palace. How very British. I then went parallel to the South Bank and crossed London Bridge and tootled up to Bishopsgate.
Turns out we've got a very nice maestro and, as the piece was so short, he left at 7.30pm. I changed, researched my route options in my AtoZ and got ready to ride, setting off at at about 7.50pm. My iPod had run out of battery that morning but I didn't mind as it was a beautiful evening and I've never been that way before so wouldn't have had it on for the first half anyway.
I sailed up Bishopsgate, turned left towards Old Street (if you want to see some insane cycling outfits and bikes go near Shoreditch at night), went straight through Farringdon to Holborn and was then in familiar territory through Oxford Street, on to Lancaster Gate, Shepherd's Bush then home. It was gorgeous and took me 1hr 20mins.
Wehn I worked in Liverpool Street several years ago it took me a good two hours each way to get to work and back. A lot of it involved sitting on the tube. When the two-day tube strike was on it took me three hours each way. Little did I know I could've done it so much quicker by bike.
But better than all of this was the massive feeling of smug that settled over me on the last two miles. It cooled my burning muscles, put a smile on my face and made the homeward stretch seem that much quicker. It's around 15 miles from Liverpool Street to my house and the best moment of the journey came when I walked through the door, announced my achievement to Mr Weenie and he said: 'But you don't even look out of breath.'
And I wasn't.
** Update: just checked gmap pedometer. I cycled 31.5 miles yesterday!