Cycling is quite prominent in London, although the city obviously has a long way to go. The narrow streets, huge double-decker buses, and tiny speeding cars present special challenges for cyclists, but many Londoners are up for the challenge. Walking down the main streets downtown, I watched several cyclists go by each minute. A lot had sportier bikes and special gear, but the vast majority looked quite stylish. I saw a few Pashleys and some Dutch bikes, as well. I took as many pictures of interesting cyclists as I could manage whilst site-seeing. I don’t know how Riding Pretty, Chic Cyclist and others do it so well, because it’s been hard for me to hit a moving target.
My favorite find was this lovely lady on a Dutch bike. Love the flowing locks!
More cycling Londoners:
Dapper Chap in Hyde Park
Ponytail compliments helmet
Red – stylish and high vis
Bloke on a Bike
Another lovely lady with her Dutch bike
Another dapper chap in Hyde Park (on a Gary Fisher)
Walking the dog on the bike all day ’cause the filth took away my license…
Woman v. Bus
There was much more to our day than taking pictures of people on bikes, though. We started at Harrods where we ogled the rooms of scrumptious food that I imagine only royalty got to eat back in the day. We bought cheese (gouda with truffles!), croissants, baguettes, chocolates, and lemonade and sat at a bench in Hyde Park to enjoy our lunch.
Then we made our way on foot through Hyde Park to the shopping area around Piccadilly Circus.
We made sure to stop by Topshop to check out the new Cyclodelic line, fashionable cycling accessories made by women for women. Although we spent a good 3 hours in Topshop, we spent only about five minutes hovering over this display. We thought there would be more to it, but it is cute for younger women. There were nifty panniers and saddle bags in bright colors. There were also some scarves with wheel prints, bright cycling caps, and beaded ankle cuffs.
I bought one of the ankle cuffs, a nice light blue that’s reflective and apparently can be worn as a bracelet when off the bike, but I don’t think I’ll be doing that. Trisha modeled one of their cycling caps. Not quite her style.
We ended our day with dinner at a cozy little French restaurant in South Kensington, where we are staying.
An unexpected and very entertaining aspect of our entire day was…wait for it…my tights. I recently bought some Betsy Johnson tights that look like regular hose but have painted butterflies on them. Little did I know the sensation they would cause all through London! It sounds absurd, but I do not think “sensation” is an exaggeration. Not quite pandemonium, though.
All day people approached me to comment on my tights. Several women told me how much they liked my stockings and a few wanted to know where I bought them . A scruffy middle aged guy stopped walking and said to me, “You’ve got butterflies on your legs.” I looked down and said, “Oh, my god!!!” and he laughed. An elderly gentleman in Harrods asked me where I got them, I think for his grandaughter who was with him and looked shy. A little girl, maybe 3 years old, walked up to me and stared while I was sitting on a bench in the park. Her mother laughed and said, “I knew she was going to stop to look at your stockings.”
The situation became ridiculous while walking through the area of Hyde Park where people stand on soap boxes and give crazy speeches. A woman said, “I must tell you, your tights are very…interesting. They are very eye catching.” A guy with her said it looked like I had tattoos of butterflies all over my legs (that would have been painful and time- consuming). Then she said, “You’re making a louder statement than any of these men standing up here yelling.” (Thanks…I think?) As she was talking, another couple came up and started talking about my tights with great enthusiasm. THEN as these four people bombarded me and Trisha looked on with amusement, a woman stopped and took a picture of me! This was all very odd. Am I in the Twilight Zone or being punked? It was an entertaining way to meet the natives, though, who I thought were supposed to be reserved.
Now that I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time talking about tights, I’ll end with the obligatory phone booth shots.
We’ll be back tomorrow with thoughts on our last day in London and pictures of the city’s cycling infrastructure