Since my new job, I have proper weekends off. Everyone please give me a cheer! Woop woop. Working Saturdays are such a nuisance. Today was the first real weekend we had in three months. And we thought we could celebrate by a trip to the London Transport Museum.
The weather was fair. Cold, but dry. So easy cycling weather. No #saxonbiking like yesterday! So, I decided to take the London Overground from Bruce Grove to Liverpool Street. Covent Garden-Liverpool Street is about half an hour’s cycle, if you know the way (I didn’t, so it took me about an hour first time around).
When we set off, I knew the biggest hurdle wasn’t going to be the traffic. It was going to be these:
Bruce Grove Station. I asked a member of staff whether he could be so kind to give me a quick hand, but he refused. His exact words “you are not allowed to take a bike on the train and this bike is too big”. Dude never seen a cargo bike I don’t think. In any case, we ARE allowed to take a bike on the overground, as long as it is off peak. And weekends are exactly that. Stubborn Mama Moose then decided to drag the bike up herself, pure on will power. A lady saw me struggle and she gave me a hand. Took us less than a minute to get up the stairs. Gods forbid you have to take Bruce Grove Station, while using a wheelchair.
Our journey to Liverpool Street was relaxed. Plenty of room for Missy to stand tall. A member of staff actually came to us to ask about the bike. He thought she was brilliant. He was right ofcourse. We departed from the station and I first got a bit lost. But I quickly found the way to The Barbican centre and so on to Holborn. Needless to say, there was not 1 segregated cycle path on that route. To the naysayers who claim there is no space, I’ll just leave this here.
We got to the London transport Museum and to my astonishment there are no bike parkings for us cyclists. LTM doesn’t see cyclists as transport in this city! Luckily I was armed with facts and figures and I gave one of the managers a bit of a come uppance. A whole museum dedicated to London transport and I had to walk through the building TWICE to find a “bike section”. Please don’t get me started on the high viz and helmets. I am already aggro enough tonight. According to this manager the museum can’t do anything about the bike parking. Covent Garden is run by a company called “capco” and they call the shots. It is time the cycling lobby starts calling the shots on this matter.
We had a quick drink after the tour, where Monkey spilled an entire cup of hot chocolate over me. Time to go home! The way back to Liverpool Street was easy, as I knew the way. On the way to the museum and on the way back I encountered two women who shouted at me “to go on the street”. Both times I asked whether they would walk among vehicles and both times they declined. Thus, proving my point.
I have been saying this before, and I will probably be saying this for a long time to come: London people, (English people), your mentality got timewharped and got stuck in the seventies. It is 2015 and I am saving your arse by not using a car. However, I am not risking my life doing so. I am a mother, a single parent, I have other responsabilities too. You don’t like it, lobby for segregated cycle lanes.
Before we got home, Monkey decided he wanted to try something, well….else! Mini cargobike 2.0!!! He now sits in the front. @fdbikes, what about a bigger basket?
All in all, we had a lovely day out. Missy got approved by many and the few who kicked up a fuss got dealt with by showing the facts. Still, there will be a lot of work ahead of us. But, tomorrow is another day.