Never a dull moment in London

It will be very difficult to die of boredom here in London city with numerous events and festivals occurring every weekend. Have been busy for the last 3 weekends and surprisingly it’s almost at the same place along Thames river.

Act 1 – London Mayor’s Thames Festival (16 Sept)
thames fireworks
Highlight was the fireworks display to end the 2day festival along Thames riverfront. Only had time to watch the finale as was working during weekend. The long windy wait on top of Waterloo Bridge was rewarded by a marvelous 15min fireworks session. Definitely lotsa colours and sparkles to draw plenty of oohs and aahs from the spectators.

(Final moments taken by Chloe)

Act 2 – Hovis London Freewheel (23 Sept)

Went around London streets on my rented bike (unfortunately my ebay search has not been fruitful yet) to be part of this historic day. Circled the full loop by myself – enjoyed the peace and sights along the way eg London Eye, Westminster buildings and London Bridge. Was joined later by Hema & Ashwin and became typical kiasu tourists and went to all the photo hotspots where the official event photographers will take your pic FOC. Eventful day as we get to bike along busy roads specially closed for this day and my sore arse after the long ride has given me more motivation to get my own MTB.

Freewheel London Eye
(London Eye in the background)

Freewheel Trafalgar Sq (Trafalgar Square with Hema)

Freewheel Group Pic

(On London Bridge with Hema & Ashwin)
Act 3 – Rat Race Urban Adventure (29-30 Sept)

Became a race marshal for this urban adventure race spread over 2 days. Prologue event was held on Sat called “Mean Streets” where the teams had to orienteer by foot through checkpoints around London city. Some CPs had interesting challenges such as eating jellied eels and finding marshals in costumes eg Sherlock Holmes. Mine was a simple CP at Barbican Centre – ended up chatting to people curious to why there are these teams of 3pax running around looking for me.

Race HQ London Bridge (Race HQ at Tower Bridge)
Marshal Kit
(Marshal freebie – Rain jacket & event BUFF)

Sunday main race event was definitely more interesting. Morning session was a simple CP at Hyde Park – ensuring early morning walkers are no knocked down by passing racers in bikes. The challenge was waking up at 6am on a Sun morning, since I have been sleeping in since cold autumn arrived.

Second CP was better – kayaking section at Putney. It was a simple kayak loop, but having an urban race in London attracted plenty of newbies who have not kayaked before. Funny seeing how racers fumbled with their PFDs and even sat on the kayak faced in the opposite direction.

Kayak station (Kayak station at start)

Kayakers (Racers on River Thames)

Kayakers low tide (Kayakers at low tide)

The highlight arrived at about 4pm when the high tide overflowed into the streets. We started the kayak section at about 1pm at super low tide and within 3+ hours, I was wading through 2ft of river water. Due to the Autumn Equinox, we experienced the 2nd highest tide of the year during that afternoon.

So it was a battle to manage the PFDs, paddles, people and keeping myself warm as I was soaked to the bones with water up to my knees for about 1+ hour. The kayak section finally closed down about 6pm-ish after all the gear packing. Unfortunately no dinner awaited us poor marshals at race HQ, but plenty of free beer for the post race party. After 3 pints and watching the prize-giving ceremony, I was happy to call it a day and great cap to end the month of Sept.

Indeed London has plenty instore for one if you are game to stay intouch and try new experiences.

kayakers on streets

(Racers kayaking on flooded streets)

Flood scene

(Flood scene-compare the water level to the start of kayaking pic)
flood scene 1
(Safety kayakers enjoying the high waters over the streets)

marshal crew
(Marshal crew at Kayak section)


About Wye Yim

Wye Yim is just any ordinary Malaysian gal, who have been bitten by the travelling bug and searches for the next adventure thrill. Having done 6 years in a corporate world, she has abandoned her suits and heels to embark on a journey to work in the outdoor industry and fulfill her passion to travel the world.
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One Response to Never a dull moment in London

  1. czemien says:

    wow! kayaking flooded streets – definitely a novel experience. like ur pixs. great to know u hving lotsa fun. just got back fr trip to China. hike up Tiger Leaping Gorge was overrated but hike down the gorge to teh river (which was hardly mentioned in travel guides) made up for it. still rooming w ur frens? or are you looking for a place of ur own?

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