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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