Friday, 14 June 2013

On my day in London

After bidding adieu to Elly and Collin, I rode Leonardo to the train station. While waiting at the designated bike spot in the platform, I noticed a steam engine at the Didcot Railway Centre been marshaled for the day by a diesel shunting engine with linked wheels. I took up my camera to record the scene in company of another cyclist of about my age. I broke the ice by asking if our photographing the event made us train spotters. He didn't think so. He was on his way with a small group for a day in London. (It was a Sunday.)

They were wearing fairly distinctive cycling jackets, which will be important later.

We travelled to Paddington station where we went our separate ways. I went first to Euston station where I picked up my tickets on the Caledonian Sleeper and dropped off three panniers in the left luggage office. I then proceeded across the Tower Bridge to HMS Belfast.

While on the bridge of the ship, I espied a Thames sailing barge with red sails called Hydrogen across the river. It moved upriver before turning and going under the Tower Bridge which had raised its drawbridge section for the barge's mast!

By the time I finished touring the light cruiser, veteran of the Second World War and the Korean War, it was too late to see another attraction. Consequently, I sought out some supper at Covent Garden. As I was scoping out the options who should emerge but the people from Didcot in their distinctive cycling jackets!

After a supper of Indian food, I headed towards Euston Station, stopping shortly before at the Euston Flyer pub for a pint. As the Montreal Grand Prix was playing on one of the TV screens, I settled in to watch the action with the eye of someone who has ridden the track on a bike. I was suddenly possessed by the giggles when I saw the plethora of "Fly Emirates" signs around the track as I am pretty sure they don't fly into Montreal!

I remarked upon this to people sitting next to me in the pub. This started a chat which one of them commented he had taken me for a railway maintenance worker when I first came in as I was wearing a new lime green high-viz vest and a yellow bike helmet! (I had bought the new vest as my old orange one is fading badly and might bring untoward association with Orange Order idiots. As well, the increased visibility is a comfort on these narrow British roads.)

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