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Could you do an Ikea shop by bike?


27/09/2011



Our guest post today comes from Bike Hero Lee Mannion, who you can read about here.  We were rather inspired by his journey, and love your quote at the end Lee!
 


 

Going by bike can make the most ordinary of journeys more interesting.  When I started cycling in London, it opened the city up for me. If you only ever take the tube, the rite of passage that is furnishing your home with a trip to Ikea, for example, is going to prove a royal pain in the backside. It’s 14 stops on the tube for me (with one change), pretty much all of it underground and you get no sense of how you got from A to B. One look at Google Maps showed that Ikea was only five miles away and on closer inspection, I could do the majority of it away from cars along the canal. Perfect. A decent workout for the legs, heart and lungs with a bit of adventure thrown in too. It’s easy to get jaded about the city if you only ever do the same journeys and the same things. If everyone went and explored a new part of it from time to time (not that I’m putting Ikea forward as a great day out), they’d realise what a endlessly eclectic place it is, both in terms of environment and people.

 

Along the canal I saw trains that had come out of Paddington flying out of the city towards the west, I saw Indian ladies in fabulously colourful saris having a picnic and I saw an teacher cycling along the towpath yelling instructions at his canoeing students. Then there were the smells, the wonderful warmth and homeliness of a bakery on an industrial estate and about another mile up, a factory that obviously produced Chinese food. After that, the hot dogs at Ikea didn’t really cut it, but no matter. I got a bit lost of course, but that’s not a drama these days, what with Google Maps on the Iphone. By getting lost I found the Ace Cafe, somewhere I’d only seen whizzing by on the North Circular before. I know where it fits into the fabric of the city now and I’m definitely going back for a burger. Mine are not the kind of two wheels that they’re used to there, but I reckon mine are cooler.

 

The view along the canal


 

I folded the Brompton up and put it in the trolley as I wheeled around the store – quite funny seeing everyone looking at it wondering if Ikea had started selling fold-up bikes. As for getting everything back home, well the Brompton bag did for the tea-lights and the glasses and all those other little things you never mean to buy but do and the delivery man took care of the rest. A trip there can be a grind, but going by bike proved an old adage to be true; it was certainly better to travel than to arrive.

1 comment

  1. kristine stortroen says:

    Oct 5, 2011

    Reply

    really enjoyed the variety and quality of bicycling events and
    coverage – thanks

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