A Sunday morning pootle

On a dull, overcast day the canal was all but deserted

On a dull, overcast day the canal was all but deserted

It’s not often I’m happy when the weather forecast predicts rain – but on a recent Sunday morning I was.

I’d arranged to meet friends for lunch at a restaurant near Paddington. A quick check of Google maps revealed that the venue for our get-together was located right next to the Paddington Basin, and that by far the easiest way for me to get there was along the canal. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to pop my cycling-along-the-canal cherry.

There was just one problem. Continue reading

Saturday afternoon by the canal

Enjoying the sunshine by the Regent's Canal

Enjoying the sunshine by the Regent’s Canal

“They shouldn’t allow cycling along here.  There’s just no room.”

I was out for a Saturday afternoon stroll with my friend Mark when I overheard this remark. It was a gloriously sunny day – one of the first real days of spring this year – and we’d decided the Regent’s Canal was the perfect spot to soak it up. So, it seemed, had half the population of Hackney.

“Did you hear what that woman said?” I asked Mark, already starting to feel my hackles rising.

“Yes,” Mark replied. “As it happens, I agree with her.”

As a cyclist – albeit one who rarely ever cycles along the canal towpath – this statement was like a red rag to a bull. Given that Mark is a lawyer – and therefore arguing a point is encoded into his DNA – the stage was set for a rather heated discussion. Continue reading