ToB more tales from the baricades (long)

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Bryan, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. Bryan

    Bryan New Member

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    (sorry this ended up going on a bit)

    Well turned up at the finish line on the Mall at 8am yesterday to find another 60 or so volunteers ready to do our bit to help. The only problem was they only needed 30 people, so I could have had a lie in and turned up at 12 at a marshal point on the course. So after being told to come back at 10am when they would decide what to do with us, a rather dejected bunch of volunteers got ready to see the juniors race. And a very good race it was too. A complete mix of ages, experience and bikes. I never knew they did carbon race bike in sizes that small, or that parents would buy them! 6 laps saw a few breakaways a couple of spills and then a sprint for the line. Sorry can't remember the winners name, but he cycled for Scottish Provident.

    10 am came and we got an explanation for the mess up with the number of marshals. Some people had obviously decided to go home, or go to other marshal point on the course, leaving about 15 or so of us to double up on crossing points round the circuit. My point was opposite horse guards, which meant that most of the first hour was spent telling tourists that no there wasn't going to be any parade today.and what the 'big building over there' was. The youth and women's race (what we saw of it) seemed to go very well, with breakaways getting away and being chased down. The Bob Chicken crit race series had already been won but the race itself had some more spectators watching it, as well as a big crash at the turn to Birdcage walk. After this came the hand cycle world cup, WOW! Those guys were amazing, just wish I was that fit.

    And then finally cam the race itself. this was actually the easiest race of the day for us on the crossing points as we had the helicopter above us indicating when they were about to come round again, and no-one was being dropped. The breakaway of 3 managed to keep ahead with a max time of 18 seconds, but where finally reeled in with 6 laps to go, when we had to close the crossing point (or so the police told us, nothing coming from the race organisers). This managed to upset a few people 'nut I Must leave I'm going to be late!', and lots of people asking us how much longer they would he to wait. Still eventually the riders didn;t cope round again, so we assumed the race had finished, and after another 5 minutes opened the crossing up, and went to try and return our marshal bibs. Easier said than done when you're only told 'take them to the start and finish line', and of course there are all the presentations going on, and you can't cross the course!. Anyway we eventually managed to cross the circuit, after all the photos had been taken, pick up the goody bag, and then off home, a very long, sometimes frustrating, but essentially enjoyable day.

    The problems with the number of marshals, and getting bibs back are teething problems, and I will be feeding them back to the organisers. However my major gripe is the lack of advertising coming up to the event, lack of crowd information during it, and lack of coverage afterwards. I live in the west of London, but regularly travel into the centre, and although I haven't been actively looking, don't remember seeing any on the tube or on the streets around Victoria. As for the event itself, the number of people who said if they had known there would be a full day of events they would have turned up earlier, and the number who asked what time the main event would get onto the circuit goes to show that it wasn't just me that didn;t see anything. It's OK putting it in the cycling press, but people who read that will turn up anyway, it's your average bloke on the street that needs to be told. On the back of the circuit (were I was), we had no idea what was going on on the main straight as there was no commentary relay to us. Given the size of Horse Guards they could easily have put a screen up there, or simply put some speakers up! And as for after the event, I picked up a copy of Metro this morning, and couldn't find a single line about it, the tall bike tour had a few para, in the main section, and Triathlon had a section in the sports part, but the ToB? Nothing. The only mention it got on radio 5 was in the sports results, at the end after the Ryder cup squad, and when they did a review of the papers sports section, when apparently the Guardian has a feature, mainly about safety, after the motorbikes crashed into the barriers.

    Did they do a good job? On the day yes, and those that turned up will be back to see the TdF next year, but only because it's the TdF, and unless they get their act together with advertising, promotion etc, it will be the least attended start to the TdF ever. I don't want to come accross too cynical, but I still see posters for the Notting Hill carnival everywhere!

    Bryan
     
    Tags:


  2. RG

    RG Guest

    "Bryan" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > (sorry this ended up going on a bit)
    >
    > Well turned up at the finish line on the Mall at 8am yesterday to find
    > another 60 or so volunteers ready to do our bit to help. The only
    > problem was they only needed 30 people, so I could have had a lie in
    > and turned up at 12 at a marshal point on the course. So after being
    > told to come back at 10am when they would decide what to do with us, a
    > rather dejected bunch of volunteers got ready to see the juniors race.
    > And a very good race it was too. A complete mix of ages, experience and
    > bikes. I never knew they did carbon race bike in sizes that small, or
    > that parents would buy them! 6 laps saw a few breakaways a couple of
    > spills and then a sprint for the line. Sorry can't remember the
    > winners name, but he cycled for Scottish Provident.
    >
    > 10 am came and we got an explanation for the mess up with the number of
    > marshals. Some people had obviously decided to go home, or go to other
    > marshal point on the course, leaving about 15 or so of us to double up
    > on crossing points round the circuit. My point was opposite horse
    > guards, which meant that most of the first hour was spent telling
    > tourists that no there wasn't going to be any parade today.and what the
    > 'big building over there' was. The youth and women's race (what we saw
    > of it) seemed to go very well, with breakaways getting away and being
    > chased down. The Bob Chicken crit race series had already been won but
    > the race itself had some more spectators watching it, as well as a big
    > crash at the turn to Birdcage walk. After this came the hand cycle
    > world cup, WOW! Those guys were amazing, just wish I was that fit.
    >
    > And then finally cam the race itself. this was actually the easiest
    > race of the day for us on the crossing points as we had the helicopter
    > above us indicating when they were about to come round again, and
    > no-one was being dropped. The breakaway of 3 managed to keep ahead
    > with a max time of 18 seconds, but where finally reeled in with 6 laps
    > to go, when we had to close the crossing point (or so the police told
    > us, nothing coming from the race organisers). This managed to upset a
    > few people 'nut I Must leave I'm going to be late!', and lots of people
    > asking us how much longer they would he to wait. Still eventually the
    > riders didn;t cope round again, so we assumed the race had finished,
    > and after another 5 minutes opened the crossing up, and went to try and
    > return our marshal bibs. Easier said than done when you're only told
    > 'take them to the start and finish line', and of course there are all
    > the presentations going on, and you can't cross the course!. Anyway we
    > eventually managed to cross the circuit, after all the photos had been
    > taken, pick up the goody bag, and then off home, a very long, sometimes
    > frustrating, but essentially enjoyable day.
    >
    > The problems with the number of marshals, and getting bibs back are
    > teething problems, and I will be feeding them back to the organisers.
    > However my major gripe is the lack of advertising coming up to the
    > event, lack of crowd information during it, and lack of coverage
    > afterwards. I live in the west of London, but regularly travel into
    > the centre, and although I haven't been actively looking, don't
    > remember seeing any on the tube or on the streets around Victoria. As
    > for the event itself, the number of people who said if they had known
    > there would be a full day of events they would have turned up earlier,
    > and the number who asked what time the main event would get onto the
    > circuit goes to show that it wasn't just me that didn;t see anything.
    > It's OK putting it in the cycling press, but people who read that will
    > turn up anyway, it's your average bloke on the street that needs to be
    > told. On the back of the circuit (were I was), we had no idea what was
    > going on on the main straight as there was no commentary relay to us.
    > Given the size of Horse Guards they could easily have put a screen up
    > there, or simply put some speakers up! And as for after the event, I
    > picked up a copy of Metro this morning, and couldn't find a single line
    > about it, the tall bike tour had a few para, in the main section, and
    > Triathlon had a section in the sports part, but the ToB? Nothing. The
    > only mention it got on radio 5 was in the sports results, at the end
    > after the Ryder cup squad, and when they did a review of the papers
    > sports section, when apparently the Guardian has a feature, mainly
    > about safety, after the motorbikes crashed into the barriers.
    >
    > Did they do a good job? On the day yes, and those that turned up will
    > be back to see the TdF next year, but only because it's the TdF, and
    > unless they get their act together with advertising, promotion etc, it
    > will be the least attended start to the TdF ever. I don't want to come
    > accross too cynical, but I still see posters for the Notting Hill
    > carnival everywhere!
    >
    > Bryan
    >
    >
    > --
    > Bryan
    >


    I was a marshal in Brum on Friday ... similar experience - especially the
    lack of any sort of publicity in the paper - one would have thought the
    previous evening's paper would have been a good place to a) have some
    details about the event, when/where etc, and b) to have a map showing which
    roads would be closed or restricted.

    You've guessed - not a sausage - and most of our effort was in telling
    people "It's the Tour of Britain Cycle Race" - and telling white van men
    that they couldn't drive through the finish straight.

    RG
     
  3. elyob

    elyob Guest

    "Bryan" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > (sorry this ended up going on a bit)
    >
    > Well turned up at the finish line on the Mall at 8am yesterday to find
    > another 60 or so volunteers ready to do our bit to help. The only
    > problem was they only needed 30 people, so I could have had a lie in
    > and turned up at 12 at a marshal point on the course. So after being
    > told to come back at 10am when they would decide what to do with us, a
    > rather dejected bunch of volunteers got ready to see the juniors race.


    I missed the races as I was at a wedding the night before. No chance of an
    early start on Sunday.

    However, I did get up a few minutes after the race had finished. I was
    disgusted at the number of people cycling through St James' Park, which
    clearly is not a cycling area, and also had too many peds to be comfortable
    anyway. I've decided I really do hate roadies and their 'above the law'
    attitude.

    OK, you might weigh your food, and can cycle up a hill faster than me, but
    you have no respect for others. Arrogant t*ss*rs.

    Sorry, that's my rant over.
     
  4. Bryan

    Bryan New Member

    Joined:
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    Calm down Elyob :) there were just as many problems caused by people with tourers, mtb's and general utility bikes as those caused by 'roadies'. The bifggest problem was the peds who hadn't got a clue, like the bloke who pushed his was infront of a crossing marsha and then proceeded to walk up the curse rather than straigth accross the road, or teh people on mobiles corssing at a snails pace despite us shouting at them to hurry as there were cyclists approaching.

    It's only one day, however from you reaction, you should be able to make soem money renting put your house to people who want to wathc the TdF next eyar :)

    By the way, have you heard anything re Evans recently?

    Bryan
     
  5. Arthur Clune

    Arthur Clune Guest

    elyob wrote:

    > OK, you might weigh your food, and can cycle up a hill faster than me, but
    > you have no respect for others. Arrogant t*ss*rs.


    Chill my friend.

    --
    Arthur Clune
     
  6. Pinky

    Pinky Guest

    "Arthur Clune" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > elyob wrote:
    >
    >> OK, you might weigh your food, and can cycle up a hill faster than me,
    >> but
    >> you have no respect for others. Arrogant t*ss*rs.

    >
    > Chill my friend.
    >
    > --
    > Arthur Clune



    Hey we are all allowed to rant a bit ( of course I never do!)

    I thought it was quite a polite "rant" and he said sorry b4 you even put
    your oar in.

    I suspect that he actually expressed an opinion shared by many others in St
    James Park at the time.

    Surely that sort of behaviour creates the backwash that we "cyclists"
    don't want to foster.

    I probably get "foulmouthed" by as many "people on bikes" as I do cagers in
    my local area. Hereabouts I would say the 90% of bike riders that I see are
    riding on the ( including the 3 plods I see occasionally )pavement or in
    pedestrianised areas. And I do make comment ( which is why I get verbal
    abuse). I have even spoken to the police cyclists when they ride through
    heavily populated pedestrian areas -- if they don't set an example then
    ...........! ( the trouble is they are not "cyclists" -- they are plod on
    bikes -- and not the local copper who used to push his sit-up-and-beg round
    our village when I was a lad.)

    It is this sort of attitude which makes all the pontificating by "cyclists"
    next to pointless. I can ride all day observing traffic lights, riding
    positively, signalling, nodding my thanks to people who see me(!), with my
    day glow reflective strips everywhere --- but all that has no effect when 97
    other "people on bikes" disregard every sensible precaution and "High way
    code -- what's that?"

    btw -- this is not a rant! :-}

    Trevor A Panther
    In South Yorkshire,
    England, United Kingdom.
    www.tapan.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk
     
  7. elyob

    elyob Guest

    "Pinky" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    >
    > "Arthur Clune" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >> elyob wrote:
    >>
    >>> OK, you might weigh your food, and can cycle up a hill faster than me,
    >>> but
    >>> you have no respect for others. Arrogant t*ss*rs.

    >>
    >> Chill my friend.
    >>
    >> --
    >> Arthur Clune

    >
    >
    > Hey we are all allowed to rant a bit ( of course I never do!)
    >
    > I thought it was quite a polite "rant" and he said sorry b4 you even put
    > your oar in.
    >
    > I suspect that he actually expressed an opinion shared by many others in
    > St James Park at the time.
    >
    > Surely that sort of behaviour creates the backwash that we "cyclists"
    > don't want to foster.


    Many thanks :) It's on a special event day like that, when they are
    obviously keen cyclists (lycra clad radies) and plenty of other people
    wheeling their bikes along, they should seen to be setting the example. It's
    one thing all of us being labelled because some numpty has borrowed a mates
    bike and cycles along the pavement, but if you are a regular cyclist and
    dress the part, you should be *pro*-cycling in London. Doing silly things
    like pavement cycling only makes mine and plenty of other responsible
    cyclists life harder.

    Today's argument on BBC London "share the road" - our views are totally
    undermined by the amount of people who will have seen tons of people in St
    James' Park yesterday. Maybe the organisers need to also put the extra
    marshalls they had around the parks to stop people cycling like this.
    Obviously cyclists cannot police themselves. When I pointed out the
    no-cycling sign, I was given a firm "f*** off". Shame he didn't want to
    repeat it, as I did feel like decking someone.
     
  8. MJ Ray

    MJ Ray Guest

    "elyob" <[email protected]> wrote:
    > However, I did get up a few minutes after the race had finished. I was
    > disgusted at the number of people cycling through St James' Park, which
    > clearly is not a cycling area, and also had too many peds to be comfortable
    > anyway. I've decided I really do hate roadies and their 'above the law'
    > attitude.


    A few minutes after the race, some marshalls seemed to be keeping the course
    closed (why?) and directing cyclists to ride across the park instead.

    Why did so many spectators have their bikes with them while the sponsored
    bike park was so empty? Did the bike park charge too much (or at all)?
    Was it lack of signs directing to the bike park?

    --
    MJR/slef
     
  9. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, Bryan
    ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > Calm down Elyob :) there were just as many problems caused by people
    > with tourers, mtb's and general utility bikes as those caused by
    > 'roadies'. The bifggest problem was the peds who hadn't got a clue,
    > like the bloke who pushed his was infront of a crossing marsha and then
    > proceeded to walk up the curse rather than straigth accross the road,
    > or teh people on mobiles corssing at a snails pace despite us shouting
    > at them to hurry as there were cyclists approaching.


    At our crit on Sunday, a woman walked off the pavement with a small child
    just in front of the fast group, despite a nearby marshal shouting at
    her not to. Fortunately the group were able to swerve both sides of her
    without hitting either her or the child. I don't think the public have
    any conception just how fast racing cyclists go, or just what the
    consequences of being hit by a fast moving peloton would be.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    ;; Friends don't send friends HTML formatted emails.
     
  10. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, MJ
    Ray ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > Why did so many spectators have their bikes with them while the
    > sponsored
    > bike park was so empty? Did the bike park charge too much (or at all)?
    > Was it lack of signs directing to the bike park?


    Would you leave your good bike in a bike park? I certainly wouldn't - it
    never goes out of my sight when out of the house.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    ;; Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.
     
  11. Simon Brooke wrote:

    > At our crit on Sunday, a woman walked off the pavement with a small
    > child just in front of the fast group, despite a nearby marshal
    > shouting at her not to. Fortunately the group were able to swerve
    > both sides of her without hitting either her or the child. I don't
    > think the public have any conception just how fast racing cyclists
    > go, or just what the consequences of being hit by a fast moving
    > peloton would be.


    BTDT too. Save that it was a little old lady in Darlington and I didn't
    miss :-( Fortunately I was running my Kingcycle in fully-faired mode, so
    there was a nice smooth nosecone for her to bounce off, rather than the
    nasty spiky bits sticking out of the front of Mike Weaver's Ross, who missed
    her by a hairsbreadth.

    --
    Dave Larrington
    <http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk>
    The thing about Tony Parsons, though, the defining aspect of his
    personality, is that he is a complete twat.
     
  12. Bryan

    Bryan New Member

    Joined:
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    0
    Standing up for the marshals now. They have no authority whatsoever, all they can do is ask people to do something, and if they refuse, well you just have to let themget on with it. The simple fact is that there were loads of police arround, and they DO have authority to tell people to do what signs tell them rather than ask. As I said in my first post, the police told us to close the course, but then did nothing to tell us when we should open it again, we just assumed that when no more cars/riders came round then we could open it again.

    As for teh bike par, I was there a 8am, went round the 'Bike Fest' (don't get me started on that), and never even saw where it was! Certainly no sigms telling people where it was.

    Going back to the press coverage (or rather lack of), there was a page in todays Metro (whereas nothing yesterday), but all it covered was the 'safety aspects'. It did have some good points to make, re:clearing of roads, and the expectations of top continental riders. Summary was that it is believed that the organisers didn't do a particularly good job. Was anyone at the Sheffield stage, that seems to be the one of the big contentious points, not sure which road they came in on. but unless they managed to clear all teh parked crs, most of them would be quite dangerous.

    Bryan
     
  13. MJ Ray

    MJ Ray Guest

    Simon Brooke <[email protected]>
    > MJ Ray ('[email protected]') wrote:
    > > Why did so many spectators have their bikes with them while the
    > > sponsored
    > > bike park was so empty? Did the bike park charge too much (or at all)?
    > > Was it lack of signs directing to the bike park?

    >
    > Would you leave your good bike in a bike park? I certainly wouldn't - it
    > never goes out of my sight when out of the house.


    I would, but my 'good' bike is probably barely worth double figures these
    days, unless you break off the recent spares to sell as-new. It has two
    wheels, it runs smoothly, it carries loads and it stops sharp... It's a
    bike, not a bit of jewellery.

    If your bike is that valuable to you, would you stand with it in amongst
    hundreds of pedestrians, all jostling for a view of the race and bumping
    into it? That's what seemed to be happening on the Mall.

    The bike park seemed to have two staff watching over it, big fences and
    it was sponsored by a well-known bike lock firm. Not all of the bikes
    were done-up road bikes, as far as I could see, so I thought there may
    have been some bug with the bike park. Anyone know?
    --
    MJR/slef
     
  14. Bryan wrote:
    > MJ Ray Wrote:
    > > "elyob" <[email protected]> wrote:
    > > A few minutes after the race, some marshalls seemed to be keeping the
    > > course
    > > closed (why?) and directing cyclists to ride across the park instead.
    > >
    > > Why did so many spectators have their bikes with them while the
    > > sponsored
    > > bike park was so empty? Did the bike park charge too much (or at
    > > all)?
    > > Was it lack of signs directing to the bike park?

    >
    > Standing up for the marshals now. They have no authority whatsoever,
    > all they can do is ask people to do something, and if they refuse, well
    > you just have to let themget on with it. The simple fact is that there
    > were loads of police arround, and they DO have authority to tell people
    > to do what signs tell them rather than ask. As I said in my first post,
    > the police told us to close the course, but then did nothing to tell us
    > when we should open it again, we just assumed that when no more
    > cars/riders came round then we could open it again.


    Mm. I saw plenty of idiots crossing the course ignoring the yells of
    marshals not to.

    > As for teh bike par, I was there a 8am, went round the 'Bike Fest'
    > (don't get me started on that), and never even saw where it was!
    > Certainly no sigms telling people where it was.


    Yes, 'fest' is an ambitious way of describing half a dozen
    manufacturers and a few displays from cycling organizations. And the
    bike park? It was behind the stalls, near the bogs. I only recognised
    it as bike storage after seeing the same things at 24hr MTB races.
    There were no bikes in it and no signs (as far as I could see)
    advertising its presence.

    > Going back to the press coverage (or rather lack of), there was a page
    > in todays Metro (whereas nothing yesterday), but all it covered was the
    > 'safety aspects'. It did have some good points to make, re:clearing of
    > roads, and the expectations of top continental riders. Summary was
    > that it is believed that the organisers didn't do a particularly good
    > job. Was anyone at the Sheffield stage, that seems to be the one of
    > the big contentious points, not sure which road they came in on. but
    > unless they managed to clear all teh parked crs, most of them would be
    > quite dangerous.


    I watched the stage pass (slowly!) down the embankment and then back up
    to the Strand/Aldwych and, at the time, was fairly impressed by the
    rolling road closure. There was a lot of police on motorbikes blocking
    traffic/removing traffic already on the roads but in hindsight it was
    all very close. The road closure arrived just minutes before the race
    did -- what would they have done if they found a lorry reversing/a
    minor accident/badly parked car and no sign of the owner? There were no
    signs (that I saw) to indicate a race/closed roads. Surely it's only a
    matter of time before the rolling road closure fails? In my mind a road
    race on this scale and normally open roads aren't compatible -- one has
    to give.

    Cheers,

    Mark
     
  15. MJ Ray

    MJ Ray Guest

    Bryan <[email protected]>
    > MJ Ray Wrote:
    > > A few minutes after the race, some marshalls seemed to be keeping the
    > > course
    > > closed (why?) and directing cyclists to ride across the park instead.

    >
    > Standing up for the marshals now. [...] As I said in my first post,
    > the police told us to close the course, but then did nothing to tell us
    > when we should open it again, we just assumed that when no more
    > cars/riders came round then we could open it again.


    Nothing against the marshals - it sounds like they were doing their best
    with not enough support. I guess marshals on the final circuit would
    have had a harder time figuring out when to re-open, as they couldn't
    just watch for the Broom like out on the open course.

    > As for teh bike par, I was there a 8am, went round the 'Bike Fest'
    > (don't get me started on that), and never even saw where it was!
    > Certainly no sigms telling people where it was. [...]


    The one I saw was near the entrance nearest St James Park tube station.
    Seems it was lack of signs, then.

    --
    MJR/slef
     
  16. The Luggage

    The Luggage Guest

    MJ Ray wrote:
    > Nothing against the marshals - it sounds like they were doing their best
    > with not enough support. I guess marshals on the final circuit would
    > have had a harder time figuring out when to re-open, as they couldn't
    > just watch for the Broom like out on the open course.


    In Chatham, I ended up telling half the marshalls that the race wan't
    coming back that way after the 'wrong turn' fiasco, because they didn't
    have radios telling them that the race had been rerouted to get it back
    on course!

    TL
     
  17. John Hearns

    John Hearns Guest

    On Mon, 04 Sep 2006 13:02:08 +0100, elyob wrote:

    >
    > However, I did get up a few minutes after the race had finished. I was
    > disgusted at the number of people cycling through St James' Park, which
    > clearly is not a cycling area, and also had too many peds to be
    > comfortable anyway. I've decided I really do hate roadies and their 'above
    > the law' attitude.

    You have a point.
    To be honest, on the way to the Mall, at about 11am we had just survived
    Parliament Square. A marshall let us across the crossing point at
    Horseguards Parade.
    We then cycled through St James Park. At the little bridge we got off to
    walk as there were too many pedestrians.

    On the way back out, just as the handcycle race was on, I decided to go a
    different way and was caught up in the maze of one-way streets round St
    James/Pall Mall.
    There should have been alternate cycle routes posted - specially as the
    race organisers had closed off the one which runs up the side of the Mall.
    (That was the one I intended to take on the way out).
     
  18. John Hearns

    John Hearns Guest

    On Mon, 04 Sep 2006 18:20:12 +0000, MJ Ray wrote:

    > Why did so many spectators have their bikes with them while the sponsored
    > bike park was so empty? Did the bike park charge too much (or at all)?
    > Was it lack of signs directing to the bike park?

    The bike parking was provided as part of TfL's Bikefest.

    If you recall, the original Bikefest a few years ago in Trafalgar Square
    had the ridiculous rule of no bikes in the square...

    Anyway, this bikepark for once looked secure, as they were parking the
    bike for you and giving out a cloakroom ticket.
    But at any event like this, cyclists will keep their bikes with them,
    either to hand or within sight. It is only natural.
    Me, I kept mine with me.

    And at the risk of promoting Elyob's anger, at the start of the day we
    cycled a short way through St James Park. There did not seem to be any
    other way to get across from Parliament Square. We started to walk at
    the little bridge over the water.

    On the way out, at around 1pm, I decided to try the other side of the Mall.
    Mistake - the race organisers had closed off the bike route along the Mall.
    Yes - get this. No bike route, no diversion signs. So where were these
    pesky cyclists meant to go?
    We ended up getting lost in the maze of one-way streets in St James, when
    we really needed to head across the river.
    We had to end up doing a bit of pavement cycling in Pall Mall to get back
    onto the Mall then trafalgar Square.
     
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