My work day begins before I go to bed the night before. I check the weather forecast, pack a shirt and arrange a cycling outfit dependent on the weather. The alarm wakes me up at 6am. I generally roll out and stretch before making a cup of coffee and a bowl of cereal, taking a look at the headlines on the FT website and listening to the start of Today.
I leave the flat around 6:45. Why? I cycle to work. I always used to cycle to school from 16 on the roads and stopped on starting my previous job. The olympics changed all that – I thought I’d give it a go for a few weeks and see how it went. My route involves getting down on the A41 and that 6:45 start means I have the bus lane all the way to Swiss Cottage through to 7am.
People see cycling as risky but it gives me a unique sense of freedom and the ability to observe the whole city. I go through Regents Park and its a fantastic way of noting the seasons change as I peddle past the zoo with few cars behind me and the sounds of the occasional animal if I listen carefully. London Roads are fast with little segregation; without a doubt the hardest aspect of the journey is the Euston Road up to Kings Cross – you see everything and have to be careful of cars, lorries and passengers lugging suitcases to the Eurostar.
By the time I get to work about 25 minutes later, I can have a shower and change. I keep spare suits and smart trousers at work to save on weight. We are lucky to have a dry cleaning service, a drying room and an interior cycle park. About 10/11 hours later, I’m ready to leave – the days can be intense with short lunch breaks.
Generally, I head straight home but I always take a different route back which is mostly longer. This tends to involve a steep climb through Highgate as climbing is also part of my training for Ride London in August this year.
By the time I’m back, I can relax a bit. Sometimes I’ll go out locally as West Hampstead has a great social scene. I’m also lucky in that I can visit my Mother for a surprise as she is only in Harrow. Most times I’ll read a book or watch some TV.
On days I am out outside NW6, I won’t have cycled and will tube it. London has such a great variety of stuff to do – I generally go to the theatre, cinema or the odd exhibition. It’s just easy to meet friends and find something to do. There is the occasional work/friends drink or dinner and I also do some committee work for the Friends of Fortune Green.
A day in the life of a banker video
Eugene is fundraising for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research in Ride London. Donations to his JustGiving page will be gladly received.