Lets be honest, sightseeing on foot can often result in a long and laborious day out. In order to give the finger to the steep price of transportation in London (and most other cities), Jamie and I decided to embrace the ‘greening of travel’ and jump on a ‘Boris Bike’ for the day. 24 hours of access costs £1, and as long as you drop your bike at a docking station within half an hour then the hireage cost is essentially free (otherwise you pay after half an hour)! In order to be cheap backpackers, we just rode from station to station, swapping bikes to trick the system!
The Royal Biking Tour
I’ve chosen to deem this day out the ‘Royal Biking Tour’. You can pick up bikes by the ANZAC memorials in the NE corner of Hyde Park. This is an important place to start considering that we’re a Kiwi/Aussie combo. The memorial commemorates the enduring bond between the ANZAC’s and the United Kingdom, and the shared sacrifices that were made during the war. They were a sombre yet beautiful reminder of the motherland. From here there’s a world of Royal excitement within a short riding distance. The bike ride through Hyde Park is stunning although tedious, having to deal with all the slow commoners who travel by foot. Riding on the roads is allowed, however not recommended since bike hire doesn’t include helmets.
[Interesting fact – cyclists using the hire bikes are three times less likely to be injured than regular bike users in London. In my opinion this is probably due to local city-folk staying clear of the crazy tourists who don’t understand the road rules.]
We cruised through Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace, visited the Queen, dodged the tourists, then shot off to Westminster Abbey where you can see both the Westminster Cathedral and Big Ben. I think this bike adventure was the best way to spectate these typical tourist haunts. Life’s far more fun with the wind in your face, and it’s important to remember that sometimes the journey is more important than the destination!!!