Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The best cycling streets in London (Part 6)

Now, I realise that after a day as glorious as today, every street seems like the best cycling street. With the wind at your back, the sun on your face and the very faint first scent of spring the city is a wonderland on two wheels. And The Aldwych is not at first glance an obvious choice- three or four lanes of traffic at most points, weaving buses and dopey tourists on their way to see Dirty Dancing The Musical. However, ever since seeing Happy-Go-Lucky with the amazing Sally Hawkins, in which the lead character Poppy comes zooming round the semi-circle of Aldwych in the first scene I'd had a soft spot for it. (Incidentally, if you've ever had a beloved bicycle stolen you will also appreciate that film). Obviously, the traffic is cleared for her but not for us quotidian cyclists, but if you're feeling brave and willing to get your weave on you'll love it. In the summer it is one of the greenest roads in central London, lined with majestic trees. On bright winter days like today the bare branches reveal some of the grandest architecture we've got to offer- the towering columns of Bush House, sturdy St Clement's Dane and the imposing back entrance of Somerset House. On one end of the island there is the Indian embassy, always decorated by a queue of people wanting visas dressed in glorious technicolour. I may be biased because I know that just the other side of Somerset House the Thames, the soul of the city, surges past, changing colour and freshening the air at the bottom of Kingsway. Perhaps if I battle with the buses on a grey and rainy day I will change it to the 'worst cycling' streets list, but I don't think so. See what you think.

Image by Ben30

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