Bonus Day 3 Slow Tour: London

The object of this day in the town home to Boris Bikes and Boris himself was to sample a range of quietways, cycleways and cycle super highways while seeing the sights of London.

While we started with one plan we ended with another, in my opinion, far better one.

The ride started in Paddington and ended in Greenwich. Greenwich is:

  • an area of South East London
  • home to the Merdian Line, Cutty Sark, the Old Royal Naval College, the National Maritime Museum, and Greenwich Market.
  • the home of time, Greenwich is where eastern and western hemispheres meet.
  • famous for its naval and military connections and its green spaces.
  • on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The route we took was around 30kms in one direction. We took the London Riverbus back to Westminster.

Chelsea Breakfast

The first part of the ride followed a quiet way through Hyde Park to Chelsea for breakfast at A Wanted Man.

Very yummy breakfast.

Battersea Park

We continued on the quiet way across the Thames and visited Battersea Park. This is a big park that includes and number of different uses and has a nice promenade next to the Thames. There are some paths for cyclists and other pedestrian only areas.

Westminster and the Super Cycle Highway

We crossed over the river on to one of the super cycle highways, which made for easy, safe and fast cycling. Good integrated lights. We crossed back again over the Vauxhall bridge to experience the South side again on the quiet ways again. They are not bad using less busy roads and some infrastructure -but they are slower and harder to follow.

Transport for London are planning to change the names from quiet ways and super cycle highways to just plain old cycle ways. But it misses the point that the name actually communicates useful information. What is even worse is that there must have been cycle route called the London cycle network, that are still signed but not maintained or promoted. London cycle routes are a bit confusing.

London Tower

We continued on the super cycle highway until London Tower. At London Tower we learnt about the London river bus. This when we change our mind and decided to cycle to Greenwich.

We took the road across Tower Bridge to connect up with another quiet way to Greenwich. There is no cycle route over the Bridge but the traffic moves so slowly that a bike is the fastest way across.


The quiet way took us through areas definitely not on the tourist map. It is also the only time it rained. It must have been fate that it started to rain only as we came across a very nice coffee shop that did nice cheese toasties.

Well, I told you about Greenwich earlier in this post. Here are some photos from Greenwich and the ferry back.


  • I could not find any useful GPX files for this ride. Transport for London website does have cycling maps, which I used to get some ideas for this ride. But, the experience is quite frustrating.
  • Our Strava activity could be converted to a GPX file, by you would need to fix up some of our mistakes.

Best bookshop…

On the internet there are lots of lists on what bookshops you can visit in the world.  Having been to a few of these.. from my perspective the best one is the one that haves what you need and provides a range of material which inspires and challenges you.. (a lot like a library right?!). 

In Adelaide the options are pretty limited. But if I was in England I would go to Foyles – what an amazing bookshop!!! Loved it – so many books I wanted to buy – but didn’t. There are a lot of floors, and a cafe and gallery in the top.  If you are going to London – go here!




DC’s Final PMP

London, originally uploaded by Helen K.

I had to track DC down in London to complete his final PMP.

It was by far the best PMP I’ve done. It was held outside Terroirs a wine bar near the theatre district. French wine, olives, chacuterie and cheese. We discovered that DC had taken the initiative and explored England and Europe widely.

His communication skills, especially written have excelled. He tailors his message to the audience. Direct and colourful to those following him on Facebook and polite and considered for those following his blog see

There is no doubt that he is having a ball!

Boris Bikes

Walking and Cycling London, originally uploaded by kdt.

We rode Boris Bikes on each of our four days in London. I distinctly recall being amazed a the number of docking stations when sitting on my couch back in Adelaide when I looked at the docking station PDF. But, in a variation of Murphy’s Law, you can never seem to find one when you are on the bike looking for one to leave you bike and when you don’t need one.

Here is our list of dos an don’ts

1) make sure you have a map of docking stations – that may help overcome the Murphy’s law variation described above.

2) download a map app and mount your iPhone to the handlebar – it will save you cycling the wrong direction for 20 minutes. We tried to head to the Victoria and Albert museum but somehow ended up in the inner east!?!

3) make sure when you dock the bike, that the lights appear. We didn’t get the lights once and went for a little walk only to be prevented from picking up the two required bikes. This then involves a phone call and walking back to the original docking station.

4) Do cycle near Buckingham Palace at 11:00am, it is lot easier to ride on the road (no cars) than walking.


1) Ride the wrong way up a one-way street. (There are many of those!) The friendly police become less friendly.

2) Avoid the roads near Buckingham Palace at 11:00am. I am throwing out a big hello to the 10s of thousands of tourists who have taken a photo of the Australian couple cycling around the Palace. We were the only traffic on the street.

3) Cycle to a docking station in a tourist area in the morning expecting a space to be available. There won’t be any! It might look like it will save time but trying to find another docking station with space can be frustrating.

4) Don’t conclude because you see a name that you recognise that you are cycling the right direction. Helen said something like “Look, that sign says St James, we must be almost there.” The fact was that we were cycling in the opposite direction.

5) Expect any street-map or sign to be helpful for finding a docking station. The only exception are the maps on the docking station. Catch 22, the problem is you are looking at the map because the docking station can’t be found (I never thought they could disappear Dr Who style).

Official Rest Day

Like the riders in the Tour de France, every hard working traveler needs a rest from blogging. Today is it.

We finished dinner last night at 12:30 at The Ledbury. Yumm!

Until tomorrow.