Managed to combine two of my favourite things today – pies and cycling. Boris Johnson very kindly put a dock of his new hire bikes almost outside my office door. Member’s card in the slot, green light on, a hefty tug on the handlebars and I was off, leaving a knot of amused tourists on the pavement. The bike’s heavy, but well-made and comfy. A big friendly dog of a bike. It tackled the slight slope of Southwark Bridge with no drama, helped along by three very low gears. It certainly attracted a lot of attention. At one set of lights a group of office workers looked me and the vehicle over. “See, he’s a fat bloke and it copes with him on it” – said one, before going bright red when she realised that sitting on a bicycle doesn’t render you deaf. I dropped the bike in the dock at Southwark Street and nipped into Borough market to pick up a Huntsman Pie from Sillfield, and have a quick chuckle at the prices in Utobeer. After grabbing another bike, I found myself riding alongside none other than Boris Johnson himself. “So, how is it?” he fopped. “Great!” I replied. “Marvellous. Have a good one!” he blustered, and was off.
Returning the bike to Great Tower Street was less successful. The dock made a grinding noise, and a red light stayed ominously on. The bike was locked in, but the red light meant that as far as the system knew, I was still tootling around EC3. The call centre assured me all would be OK, but I can’t help thinking that somewhere a computer is preparing a £300 fine. Still, the pie was excellent.