Boats, trains and bicycles!

A big thanks to Robin who shares his epic journey to work with us. His trip includes a boat, his bike and a train!

At the moment (autumn 2015) I am working on a London based project and have to go to the office 2 or 3 days most weeks. The commute is not really a cycle ride but cycling forms an integral part of it. To give some idea here is a description of a single day’s commute on 2nd September 2015.

05:20 and the alarm goes. I check out of the window on my way to the shower. Good, it’s not raining. The overtrousers will go in the bag not on me. By 06:00 I’m ready to leave. Off the boat and onto the pontoon and unfold the Brompton. It’s still not fully light so the lights go on.

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Up the pontoon, out of the yard and cycle down to the Gosport Ferry. It’s only a short ride, just over a mile.

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Down on the pontoon the ferry is not due for another ten minutes so the queue is, as yet, quite small. As usual at this hour it is roughly equal numbers of cyclists and pedestrians. I fold the bike and join the pedestrian at this point and regret that the end of the summer “Bikes go free” deal means that I must now fold or pay. A quick check of the display monitor says that my train is on time. Good news.

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A few minutes later the ferry pulls in and we all board.

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With the Brompton, instead of joining the cyclists on the lower deck I head for the upper deck to enjoy the views over Portsmouth Harbour. In the distance the ferry from France is approaching the harbour entrance.

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Looking across to the Portsmouth side the sun is rising behind the Spinnaker Tower.

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As we approach the Portsmouth side and the Hard Interchange the Warrior looks resplendent in the early morning sun.

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We dock, the gates open and I carry the bike up the gangway and up the steps into the station. First stop is to pick up a Metro and then in to the cafe for a bacon roll. As usual the train is already in and I’m soon comfortaby ensconced with my cuppa and roll, The bike, being a Brompton, fits nicely in the luggage rack.

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We duly leave on time and I settle down for almost an hour and threequarters on the train. However we have not gone far before the guard announces that there will be delays due to signalling failure at Wimbledon. In the end we get in around 08:55 instead of the usual 08:32. I’m at the back of the train and tend to be amongst the last to leave as I need to get the bike off the rack. The queues are by this time well up the platform.

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It’s time to unfold the bike, walk up the platform, weave through the crowds on the concourse and set off on the last stage by bike. Down the cycle track past the Santander bike racks and left along the road. Right at the traffic lights and left to follow the gated road past County Hall. Then it’s right again across Westminster Bridge, round Parliament square past the Houises of Parilament and St Margaret’s church. Past Westminster Abbey and The Dean’s Yard. Across the next traffc lights and I’m there. I just need to fold the bike up and walk in.