It was quite a windy day and from the west so I knew that most of the day I would be riding into the wind. My fault though for choosing to do the ride in reverse to the way Rob, the website author recommended due to the prevailing winds.
I took the C2C train to Fenchurch Street which was was thankfully engineering works free.
On my last Bridges ride I got as far as Blackfriars bridge which meant my next bridge would be Waterloo Bridge; a 2 mile ride past The Bank Of England. It's quite surreal riding through this area on a Sunday, it's almost deserted, yet in less than 24 hours it will be one of the busiest places in the whole country.
|This is meant to be temporary, but I have a feeling it's here to stay. I hope so.|
|Crossing Thirteen: Waterloo Bridge|
|Looking West towards The Eye and Westminster.|
I rode around the South Bank where the atmosphere was vibrant. I pushed my bike through a West Country market and picked up a bottle of organic cider for a friend. Definitely not for me, I can't stand the stuff!
I rode slowly along the South Bank looking to my next bridge, Westminster, or so I thought. I spotted a bridge I hadn't even noticed at street level, The Jubilee Bridges. I made a hasty retreat to cross this bridge, gratefully taking advantage of the lift up to bridge level.
|Crossing Fourteen: Jubilee Bridge|
It was tough pushing the bike through this very crowded bridge so I stopped a few times to watch the criminal con men fleecing tourists out of money with old con tricks such as 'which cup is the ball under' etc. I hate seeing people conned so tried to warn a few people but I lost count how much money was handed over by gullible tourists to dodgy characters with Russian sounding accents. My good Samaritan act didn't help, one Spanish woman handed over £80 in under two minutes. Why do the Police allow this?
Next up was Westminster Bridge, a mere half a mile upriver and the oldest bridge on this stretch of The Thames, dating back to 1862. I cycled along the Embankment with Big Ben right in front of me. It was picture postcard territory.
|Crossing Fifteen: Westminster Bridge.|
I took a photo of Big Ben just as it struck 3pm, a timely reminder that I had to get a wriggle on.
I looked back at Parliament Square and decided to cycle around it. It's notorious for its traffic chaos but it has to be the finest roundabout in the world, so I joined the road and went for it. It was great cycling around a road that when I was younger I wouldn't even drive around. I got a few bibs from cars but I didn't care. I rejoined the Bridge and crossed over the South side again.
I rode along to the next bridge, stopping at a good vantage point for a great shot of The Houses of Parliament, otherwise known as The Palace of Westminster. All pictures now were from my old Nokia N95 phone camera, I'd forgotten to charge up my main camera and the hour's charge I'd given it before I left had given up the ghost on Westminster Bridge.
Next up was Lambeth Bridge and a lovely riverside cycle path to get there. It's a pretty if unremarkable bridge and it felt like the first time I was leaving central London behind, even though Parliament and many famous sights were were still clearly visible.
Crossing Sixteen: Lambeth Bridge
Following on from Lambeth Bridge was Vauxhall bridge, which I approached from Millbank on the north side,