Monday, 26 October 2009

Reg goes clubbing

So I decided to go ahead with my cycling/clubbing plan when it became apparent that the tube was a bit pants. I did, however, decide that I'd aim to take Reg with me on the train partway both ways and that I'd only cycle all the way if I missed the last one from Paddington.

The only down side of all this was that Mr Weenie offered to buy me a beautiful dress to wear out but its length and the fact it was silk meant I didn't want to cycle in it. Sigh.

Instead I wore a fab black sequinned vest-top dress over black leggings. I wore trainers and packed smarter shoes into my pannier along with my cable loop and headed into town. Reg and I caught the train to Paddington from my local station and then I cycled to Oxford Circus. It took 10 minutes (only!) and I had loads of time to lock Reg to a lamppost that was in full view of the club's bouncers on a very well lit piece of road. Someone else's bike was also there so Reg wasn't lonely.

I tidied myself and changed my shoes while waiting for T, whose birthday it was.

When she arrived she laughed and said her mum had joked I'd probably cycle there. She laughed even more when I pointed to Reg chained up a few yards away. We got inside and the night began.

The hardest part was making sure people didn't top up my glass once I'd decided to stop drinking (I don't think cycling squiffy is particularly clever in London traffic). I solved this by getting glasses of tap water with ice from the bar. As long as you're holding a drink no one tries to give you one.

We danced to Dizzee Rascal, I chatted to T's other half and a good time was had. At around 11.30pm I lost the others as the club got packed and, knowing I had to leave at midnight anyway, I decided to call it a night. I got my pannier out of the cloakroom (took ages) changed my shoes and went to get Reg. At 11.45pm we headed to Paddington and at 11.55pm I was buying a coffee from the Costa in the station (who knew it opened so late, hooray). I got on the 12.05am to Reading so I could get to Ealing Broadway and cycle from there. It was the most unpleasant part of the journey.

Everyone was trashed, people kept bumping Reg and only my delicious and much-needed latte kept me going. We got to Ealing Broadway, I carried Reg up the stairs and pedalled home.

I had texted Mr Weenie from Paddington to let him know which train I was on so I was surprised at the level of shock he displayed when I walked in the door. 'Check the time,' was all he said.

It was 12.30am. It had taken me 45 minutes!

Last time I got stuck in Leicester Square and came home alone it took more than three hours by night bus. Where I now live is a good solid walk from the nearest night bus stop and I reckon two hours would have been a good time to do it in.

I was actually in bed an hour after leaving a central London nightclub and I live in zone 4. Even if I'd cycled the whole way I'd have been home in 1hr 15mins max, I know because I've cycled home from the Barbican late at night.

Cutting more than an hour off your journey home and feeling totally safe the whole way door to door: worth skipping a few drinks for? Oh I think so.


  1. Sounds a good night! I don't like the late trains from manchester either! Sounds like you had the ideal oufit, infact just need glam shoes to cycle in and you would have been sorted!

  2. I forgot to mention the significance of a cloakroom and spare tiny handbag!

    My pannier was given funny looks when checked but it was safe and unobtrusive.