Thursday, July 22, 2010


Fat Tire Bike Tour ~ Royal London Bike Tour
Our first FULL DAY in LONDON & we discovered the best way to get oriented ~ take a four hour bike ride through London. Jet lag didn't prevent us from spending time (including 45 minutes of pouring rain) touring on cruiser bikes equipped with various horn ornaments. 

JPE picked his bike for the size of the frame, NOT the CLOWN head horn! I had a DUCK horn!

Our guide, Peter (actually an Aussie, not a Brit) "entertained" us with his humor, knowledge of British history, some little-known facts & sights, and even got us up close & personal with the Queen's guards. Just as we reached Buckingham Palace, we experienced another London "treat" ~ a downpour! This morning's weather report said RAIN would blow through about 4:30pm (after the tour was over)... We got soaked-to-the-bone (windbreakers helped ~ if we pulled the hood up in time ~ I didn't). The sun broke through the clouds & we dried out before lunch!  It was a BUCKET LIST experience!

Queen's guests
Did you know if the Queen is home, a flag is flown over Buckingham Palace. If she leaves to run an errand (umm... what sort of errands would she run??), the flag is taken down. The Queen hosted an "invitation only" garden party this afternoon, so our bike tour had to take several detours on our return trip.

A yellow tag (w/large black X) marked the cars allowed to park near the palace. I wish I could have stopped my bike to take pictures of the ladies & gents waiting to enter the courtyard. The ladies were wearing HATS!!! gauzy, flowery, pastel-colored hats. I didn't see many ladies wearing black!  What a treat!

Marching in the downpour!

The guards really earned their pounds (I'm not speaking about their size, but their salary) today!?! They stood in the rain!  rode horseback in the rain!  and marched in the rain!  (this photo is a bit blurry - but you ARE looking at RAIN).

Today's rain was NOT a light sprinkle, a drizzle, or a misting... it was a downpour that felt like "pellets" hitting you...  Ummm... I wonder who pays to repair those horns if they get rusted??

Princess Di's Memorial Garden (adults must be accompanied by a child - yep! you read that correctly) entrance had gigantic lavender plants!! with huge bumblebees - Do you know how hard it is to take pictures of moving bees? The shiny spot on this bee was florescent green - it almost looked like a "teeny-tiny" post-it sticker... Peter (our guide) had never noticed that some of the bees had this shiny spot - do male bumblebees "sport" this dot? or females? or "princess bees" (after all, this was Princess Diana's Garden)... 

JPE & I plan to find out the answer to this question! And, since I had my point & shoot today, hopefully, I can take a better picture on Saturday when we walk back from Nottinghill & the Portobello Market! Oops! now you won't be surprised by my Saturday posting.

Peter (the Fat Tire guide, pretending to be a Brit) was fabulous! he's actually in London completing an internship as a designer (architectural, landscape, graphic??) & his guiding "gig" is part-time.  

THANKS!!  FAT TIRE BIKE TOUR for a great adventure!

We're thinking we'll sign up for the River Thames (5 hour) Bike Tour next week.

As JPE walked back to our flat, we saw this beautiful, glitzy "galloping horse" in the Kensington Gardens...
PETER ~ the Carousel horse

Carousel ride = $3.80
(5 minutes)

Bike tour = $24.86
(4 hours of history + physical activity)

Better deal??

(all pics taken 7/22/10)


  1. the actual time I posted this entry was 9pm on Thursday... my blog seems to be posting on California time....

  2. Oh Chris! This looks like so much fun!!!

  3. I really don't think anyone should be allowed to have so much fun. LOL Love the carousel horse - beautiful!

  4. SOOO nice to see what you guys are up to. Dad's bike looks like Pee Wee Herman's! Coincidence??



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