We’ve admired the SW6 blog for some time. They have so much useful information about yummy places to eat, the latest bar openings and Fulham gossip. Then we heard that one of their authors, Jess just bought a bike. That sealed it for us really, we think they’re fab! So, over to Jess to tell us what makes SW6 tick…
1. We hear you’ve just bought a new bicycle, what motivated you to buy it?
I had started walking to work some mornings to avoid the morning rush hour, then it struck me how much nicer, and faster, it would be on a bike. It’s a great way to squeeze some exercise into my day, and in just a few weeks I’ve definitely got fitter.
2. And what kind of bicycle did you get and where did you buy it from?
I bought a gorgeous racing green Pashley from Evans – I was definitely swayed by looks as it weighs a ton, so not exactly the most practical choice! I’m lucky that my office offers loans through the Cycle to Work scheme, so I get to pay it off month by month.
3. Was it hard to decide on what bike to buy and what features were you specifically looking for?
I wasn’t particularly knowledgeable about bikes when I started looking, but I had heard hybrid bikes were the best for commuting. The Pashley was a bit of love at first sight (I really wanted a vintage style bike, and it had a basket!), plus the Brooks saddle is really comfy, but in the future I’ll definitely be looking out for a light frame and a few more gears.
4. When did you last own a bicycle and do you have a fond memory of cycling at that time?
I inherited a bicycle from my mother’s godson, it was bright red and had superheroes on it. I thought I was the absolute coolest trundling around on that, especially when the stabilizer wheels came off!
5. What is your favourite route in SW6 to cycle so far?
Anything that takes in the river, or the Brompton Cemetery is always a winner with me. Further afield, my favourite London route has got to be cycling the Regents Canal from Little Venice to Hackney. It makes an amazing day out.
6. Do many of your friends or family cycle?
We seem to be going through a bit of a phase – my sister recently bought a bike and is a bit obsessed. In a fit of madness, my 60 year old father agreed to cycle with a friend from Canterbury to Rome – so he is cursing his way through some pretty hardcore training at the moment, and has lost no opportunity to show off his fancy new wheels (he’s got a custom Specialized, and I’m pretty jealous!)
7. You are clearly an expert on SW6, so tell us about your favourite places to eat and shop in the area
I love the local markets – between the North End Road, and the farmers markets in Parsons Green and Duke of York Square, we’re spoilt for choice. For great nosh, you can’t beat a meal at the Sands End, whilst for special occasions the Blue Elephant is my favourite.
8. Would you have any tips for other new cyclists?
If you plan on commuting, practice your route on a Sunday before setting out during rush hour. London is a maze of one way streets that you just don’t notice when sitting pretty on the bus, and it’s a little scaring when you make a wrong turn and find traffic bearing quickly down on you. Always wear a helmet and practice cycling whilst indicating, I found the one handed thing tricky at first but it’s essential everyone knows when you’re planning to turn, especially when turning right! Lastly, don’t just commute on your bike, take it on a day trip and explore somewhere new: it’s the nicest way to travel.
9. Who would you most like to share a tandem with and why?
Jude Law, on a vintage tandem through Paris. The reason is obvious!