Ian Wright’s London Stadium Tour
This journey through the bustling London metropolis was the perfect opportunity to sit back and take advantage of the Bobber Black’s relaxed riding position, as we went on a very personal tour close to Ian’s heart.
Starting at Wembley Stadium, where the England star scored nine goals in 33 appearances for his country, we journeyed east to his north London manor. Passing the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground, leafy surrounds of Regent’s Park and hipsters of Camden Town, we arrived at the Emirates Stadium where Ian spoke of his love for Arsenal.
His image is quite literally etched on the modern-day home of The Gunners, but next up we made the short hop to the ground where his legend became reality – Highbury. No longer the football ground that witnessed so many of Ian’s 185 then record-breaking goals for the Arsenal, the surviving façade of the housing block that remains had memories flooding back to the man whose name once echoed along the very streets we were riding.
Next, we bridged the north-south divide and en route sampled everything a central London ride has to offer. Whether it be the slimline suburban streets, big-business hubbub or edgy London cool, there was something for everyone on this capital ride.
Crossing the river via the imposing Tower Bridge, offering glorious summer vistas on either side, we were soon at Selhurst Park and the ground where Ian first found his now legendary feet. Late to the game, getting his big break for the Eagles at 22, we found out it could have all been so different had it not been for a kind woman and a valuable piece of advice all those years ago.
So, it was off for one last stop and a visit to the Crystal Palace Athletics Stadium, where Ian’s professional journey really started all those years ago. The end of a very personal ride, but one with a little something for us all to enjoy when in search of a comfortable city cruise.
THE LAKE DISTRICT WITH GEORGE CLARKE
This was a beautiful ride through spectacular scenery that began by Derwent Water Marina, wound through Portinscale village and through the small market town of Keswick, then opened up into the flowing and scenic B5289 that runs southwards along Derwent Water.
After a quick stop at the pretty village of Grange, we rode through the exceptional unspoiled Borrowdale valley, through Seatoller and then up the Honister Pass, where sharp bends and steep gradients of up to 25% are going to test any bike’s low gear performance.
The reward for conquering the twisting uphill road was the frankly breath-taking view into the Buttermere valley, and after stopping to fully appreciate our glorious surroundings we made our way steadily down past the Honister Slate mine towards the tiny hamlet of Buttermere.
As enjoyable as that was, George had saved the best until last and our 7-mile home stretch firstly negotiated one of the Lake District’s true gems – the hillside road of Newlands Pass – then up past the picture-perfect Moss Force waterfall, before blissfully meandering down the valley road, at one with one of the UK’s most epic riding locations.
By the time we made it back to the start point at Derwent Water Marina, we wanted to do this unforgettable ride all over again.