Sunday, 7 November 2010

Bike Buddies and Shop fronts

A short while ago somebody wrote in to the Bike Radar forum about a commuting journey into town from south east London.  They were having some doubts about doing the journey.   A handful of locals responded, offering  to accompany the person in.  We thought it would be a good idea to put up a list of people who would be able to help new or returning commuters make that mental leap from thinking wistfully about riding in while watching cyclists filter past their bus to actually doing it.

And so an online Google docs spreadsheet was born.  It's a list of experienced riders, what time and which way their route takes them, with contact details.  Nobody's pretending to be a qualified cycling instructor - it's just people who are already out and about who are happy to encourage a few more out onto the road.  Because it was first set up in south east London, a lot of the routes so far run from there into town - but there are also names from further afield and it's not restricted to any given area.  It should work the same for any regular commuting destination.

So, if you are a regular cyclist willing to give a bit of encouragement or if you are thinking about taking the plunge, have a look at the ''Cycling Buddies'' page up above.  It might be possible to rendez-vous.


It was high time I took my camera with me on the bike to take few photos.  I was up around Spitalfields and then back via Borough.

Opposite the church in Fournier Street, E1, just over Commercial Street from the market is the remains of the Market Café's frontage over the windows.

Then, just south of the market, in Crispin Street, E1, is this shop front for all those looking for notable paper bag merchants.

And, two doors away - for nut nostalgics - there's Percy Daltons (I assume they're no longer trading but maybe they're still around.)
And around the corner in Brushfield Street, E1, there are a couple of well-preserved shop fronts.  First there's A Gold's.
Which, once upon a time, was a French Milliners.  More recently they've been trading in foodstuffs though.  Once again, I'm assuming that  Little Lemon Ladies is something you eat and not what type of clientèle they serve.

Just to the left is a boundary marker which caught my eye because I've only just discovered that the old parish I live in was also called Christchurch

And immediately to the right of Gold's is another picturesque shop front, Verde's.

This is the view from around the corner - the woman behind the shop window has just realised she's being framed.  (And I've just realised my bike and red jacket are visible in the reflection - still, it's good to be visible when you're on a bike....)

From there, with my toes getting numb from the cold, I went over Southwark Bridge - on the Cycle Superhighway number 7 - to Borough.

This Monster one in Borough High Street is pretty well known - I'm just adding it to my collection.

And another one I'd never spotted before further south on the SC7.  But I can't for the life of me remember what street this wardrobe dealer - ''Wardrobes Built to any size'' - was in, nor had my toes recovered enough circulation for me to stop and try to figure out what the previous name was - just a few letters are legible in the picture.