Traffic Free in the Heart of London

Cutty Sark

Sometimes the days without specific plans turn out to be the best adventures. On the closing day of the Olympics we set out by bike from Alexa’s in SE London to do a ride on the North Thames River including a few tourist sights. We started with an obligatory stop in Greenwich Village with a brief visit to the dry docked Cutty Sark.

JP and Alexa – reflection off the Cutty Sark dry dock

We were denied our city-scape view of London from the Observatory as most of Greenwich Park was sectioned off for the Olympic horse riding events.

After negotiating the Olympic size crowds in Greenwich, we decided to head to the North side of the Thames and get some crowd-free miles in.  A nice easy cruise along the river Thames lead us straight to a pub, of course. We stopped at a fantastic riverside pub for an outstanding Ploughman’s lunch.

Ploughman’s lunch

Following lunch with our renewed energy we decided to do a  whirlwind tour of the main London attractions by bicycle. That is where our luck turned for the better as the Marathon had just finished and all the barriers were still in place.  We rode the entire marathon route with no traffic, no pedestrians and no other bikes. It was as if Alexa had ordered the roads closed just for us! A fantastic once-in-a-life-time way to see London.

Open London roads- just for us

Luck struck again as we passed the Wellington Barracks where the guards were preparing to march for the changing of the guards.  We headed over to Buckingham Palace for our very own personal viewing. Timing couldn’t have been better.

Big Ben and JS

From BP, Alexa lead us through London traffic to the Angel neighborhood where we jumped onto the canal tow path.  A short stop at a pub on the tow path had us changing our mind, yet again. (There ya go- making decisions in a pub). We decided to blow off viewing the closing ceremonies at Victoria park with 1000’s of our best friends and to instead head over to a folk music festival at the Gladstone Arms in Borough.  Another great decision made in a pub about a pub.

Canal Tow Path Pub Stop

Live music is good for the soul – just like climbing hills on your bike.  But even better is when you happen on a fantastic musical evening with great musicians  – we didn’t want the music to stop!  Our favorite band of the evening was Whiskey Moon Face– self described as folk, psychobilly, roots music with a trombone, clarinet, squeeze box and stand-up bass- absolutely fantastic!  “Whiskey Spirit”

Whiskey Moon Face

We have to come back to London just to see them again!

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