With the roads relatively quiet in between Christmas and New Year, I spotted another chance to extend my commute a bit further and nab some uncovered squares that were embarrassingly close to where I work. My goal was to traverse from south-west to north London and then drop more-or-less straight south from Winchmore Hill through Edmonton, Tottenham, Seven Sisters before rejoining the A10 and head into the City on familiar roads. This would essentially complete north London – everything east of the Walthamstow Reservoirs is east London.
This traverse is never satisfying. The roads and railways radiate from central London to search an extent that mathematicians have even defined a special metric space called the “British Railway metric” where the distance between any two points is not the usual notion of distance, but the distance as long as you go via London (see https://www.dpmms.cam.ac.uk/~twk/Top.pdf ). As a cyclist you have to cross all these roads (A40, A404, Al, A5, A41) and the lights are always phased against you…
The motorist has an exceptional weapon is his armory against this problem – it is called the North Circular (A406) and circles rode from Chiswick to Edmonton. It is almost exactly the right route – but you have to have have balls of steel and nerves of granite to cycle far on this road. Funnily enough days after I did the ride, the short section of the North Circular I did ride was in the newspapers as having the most prolific cash cow of a speed camera anyway in London (£1.5m raised in 6 months). I can personally attest the reason why this speed camera is raising so much money is that so many drivers are speeding past it.
As it was Ipedaled through the extremely thick fog through Acton, Willesden, Kilburn and across Hampstead Heath. Then it was my first ride down The Bishops Avenue , London home to the Sultan of Brunei and the President of Kazakhstan amongst others. The fog was sufficiently thick and the houses are sufficiently far back from the road that I could barely see them so Kensington Palace Gardens remains my recommendation if you want a bit of “billionaire property porn” on your bike road.
Winchmore Hill doesn’t quite hit these dizzy heights but is still pretty nice. Back inside the North Circular for the final run in, surroundings are considerably more prosaic. Within half-a-mile of entering Tottenham I had not once but twice had minicab drivers drive towards on the wrong side of the road. Maybe its just a convention on that bit of the A10 that I’m not used to…
New squares: 12
Current square size: 39×39