May 18 2012
I have not hit anyone
I have not been hit
I have not been shouted at or abused
I have not shouted at or abused anyone
I have not frozen or been soaked or blown sideways by the wind
I have gone through red lights, ridden through parks and gone onto the pavement
But I have stopped for people at zebra crossings and managed not to knock someone over who walked in front of me without looking
My biggest triumph was when another cyclist actually gave way to let me pass in heavy traffic. But he had a handlebar moustache and may not have truly been a London cyclist.
My closest disaster was making a jogger jump out of the way as I swung into them without looking at a traffic light
My route took me from Barnes Common down to Hammersmith Bridge, past Olympia, through High Street Kensington and then across Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park.
Every part of the route has a memory attached to it. Every part of it has some emotion particular to it — a childhood playground, a school, a first kiss, a broken affair, a family argument…
The Union Jacks have been brought out for the Jubilee since I was last here a week ago
Coming home in the evening after 7, every street around Buckingham Palace had phalanxes of police motorcycles and limousines with blazing lights bringing dozens of dignitaries to a state dinner.
Foreign news teams at the Palace
Leaving the swish of chauffeured heads of state behind, I hugged the river and Embankment all the way back to Fulham and towards Putney Bridge