A passenger in London

To get from loca­tion to loca­tion, Mike took us around on his yel­low 500cc Yamaha T-Max, my first time on a motor­cy­cle. It was a sen­sa­tional feel­ing to be mov­ing so freely in the open air, even in a London win­ter (you can see early morn­ing con­den­sa­tion on his wind­shield in some shots and the win­dows of some cars). I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t now con­sid­er­ing a bike for my next vehicle.

I thought I’d have to keep hold­ing onto the side rails to pre­vent myself from falling off, but quickly real­ized it wasn’t nec­es­sary, as I felt sta­ble at every turn and on every bump. The physics still baf­fle me.

One advan­tage of using the bike is that you don’t have to pay a con­ges­tion charge, some­thing used by the admin­is­tra­tion of London to dis­cour­age traf­fic and fund the trans­porta­tion sys­tem. Otherwise, it’s an £8 fee when enter­ing the downtown-ish area on a week­day between 7am and 6pm (and a £150 fine if you drive through with­out pay­ing). Also, you can weave between the gaps in cars and make your way to the head of traf­fic lines.

Europe 2010 travel diaries


  1. I once sat at the back of a motor­bike in a Toronto win­ter, and felt the freez­ing wind pierc­ing my skin under­neath my clothes :(

    • I have to say that the weather must have been around 4–7°C, and that was the limit of the cold I could take. I imag­ine any lower than that would be pretty painful. The dri­ver must have been a pretty hard­core biker.

  2. You should so get a motorcycle.

    Also, merry christmas :)

    • This would be a very expen­sive toy. But also very tempting. :)

  3. This is SO FUN, I par­tic­u­larly liked the Harry Potter squished-between-two-busses moment.

    • Does that have some­thing to do with trains and some­how get­ting to the school? I only saw the first movie and it was a really long time ago.

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