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Underground Surgery

An absolute scorcher today, June has finally arrived and what better way to enjoy the sun than spending 2 hrs locked in a tube train and another couple running through the crowds of Central London?

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I wonder if I’ve ever mentioned my dislike of the London public transport system. I’m sure the feeling is mutual, I hate it and it feels fairly venomous towards me.

There are some building works going on outside my flat that have resulted in restricted traffic flows. As I left my flat this afternoon I could see my bus waiting patiently for an opportunity to turn into the main flow. I sprint down 3 flights and out onto the street, timing my crossing perfectly to run between a car and the bus to arrive just in the nick of time at the bus stop. Arm goes out but the bus doesn’t stop, instead he honks his horn and starts to gesticulate as if he can’t understand why I would have just run in front of him and stood by the bus stop. The woman running along behind me is absolutely incensed by this and taking no chances, throws herself in front of the next arriving bus.

The next bus decides to pull off just as I’m about to climb onboard but temptingly he leaves his door open so I try a run and leap manoeuvre. The jury is still out so I’ll leave it until tomorrow to decide whether I’ve done myself any lasting ankle injury.

On the way back home the tube decides I’d look better as an amazon and with a particularly swift and violent door closure, attempts a single mastectomy in full public view. Not pleasant, but I survive with a solid black line bisecting me from chin to nipple.

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I did manage some running as well as performing heroic transport antics. I started in Belsize Park for my journey along the Northern Line (Charing Cross branch). I love this area of London, the moment I become monied I’ll be buying a flat on this street. perhaps one just above the book shop.

It’s a great start to a run as well, from the top of Haverstock Hill you can enjoy a downward sprint all the way to Camden. I had to slow down briefly at Chalk Farm for graffiti purposes and then ground to a complete stop by Camden Market. Camden on a hot weekend is a nightmare, far far worse than Oxford street. There is no room to run but even if there was, this is not a street for deep breathing. Inhale too hard here and your head will be swimming for hours and I didn’t have time for the munchies.

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I start running again past Mornington Crescent, which is pictured here for the benefit of any Radio 4 listeners. Quite an unassuming tube station but obviously carrys a great deal of competitive importance.

The Northern line is relatively short, about 7km from Belsize Park to Waterloo so I decided to make the most of my travel card and complete the Central line as well. Heading back to Embankment I took the district to that joyful little retreat at Mile End. This time round it was sunny which added a positive glow to the place and I noticed the canal which I’d missed the first time here but I still didn’t want to linger. Some error in navigation had me running along the road to Stepney Green again, before I hung a right, heading through social housing city and up to Bethnal Green.

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Bethnal Green to Liverpool street is quite an interesting route. I liked it around there. It looked like I’d just missed a street market as I was having to work quite hard not to slip on discarded portobello mushrooms and grapes. I’d also overlooked my invite to a hip biker event. There were stacks of cyclists around and every one had a cool fixie with aero wheels and aggressive track styling. Odd to see people bouncing down curbs with 5 spoked wheels though, can’t imagine they’ll last very long.

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Beyond Liverpool Street it was in to City Boy Land.

This shot shows St Ethelburgers Church which was apparently destroyed in 1993 by an IRA bomb. It had previously survived the Great Fire of London and the blitz.

It has recently been rebuilt and they’ve done a fantastic job as the building just grabs your attention, maybe its enhanced by the backdrop of the Gherkin.

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Threadneedle Street has many more impressive buildings but at this point I’m getting a little too hot and bothered for further architectural appreciation. Besides, I’m preparing for the Underground surgery awaiting me at Holborn.

Two more lines completed!

Salomon XT Wings Challenge
Today:
19 Tube Stations
16.04 km

Cumulative:

71 Tube Stations
64.17 km
See the combined progress map here.

Juneathon Tally
Runs: 7/30
Total Distance: 26.6 m

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{ 6 comments… add one }

  • jogblog 8 June, 2008, 10:28 pm

    Running through Camden on a Sunday afternoon in this weather? Nutter.

  • londonjogger 9 June, 2008, 12:25 am

    that ‘maid’ banksy was originally on the outside of the white cube gallery in hoxton. i guess mr.jopling didn’t like the comment as he had it painted over. what building is it on now?

    i’ve got my eye on a cycle for heros fixie inc.bike – it’s beautiful. i need something faster than my pashley now i’m fitter…

  • warriorwoman 9 June, 2008, 8:02 pm

    It was on a wall directly opposite the Chalk Farm tube station.
    I’m disappointed I didn’t manage to find myself an original.

    I love Pashleys but I think I’ll wait til I retire before I invest. Any pics of the new bike?

  • Highway Kind 10 June, 2008, 12:18 am

    Suddenly it all becomes clear. It is not a Central London Tube Challenge. You are really playing yourself at Mornington Crescent.

    Nice game.

  • Adele 11 June, 2008, 10:25 am

    Ooh, I’ve seen those cool cyclists too. They were going round in circles in a basketball court on Brick Lane, looked like they were playing bicycle polo or something.

  • jeanne 22 June, 2008, 4:18 pm

    very nice tour of london! how do you run and shoot photos? I’ve never been able to figure that out.

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