Boris Johnson has said in a TV interview that he misses cycling in London.
In July, the Foreign Secretary was banned by his police bodyguards from riding his bike because it was deemed to be too much of a security risk.
ITV’s Robert Peston suggested to Mr Johnson this morning that he was missing out on cycling 350 miles fewer a year as a result.
“More than that,” replied the Tory politician. “I used to cycle all the way around London, I used to cycle everywhere and I do miss it.”
Mr Johnson said he had been forbidden from riding his bike “because it involves a sort of convoy of police cyclists, plus cars, plus God knows what."
He added: “It’s nothing compared to what happened in Pakistan. There were literally 5,000 police officers and two ambulances and a fire engine.”
When he was Mayor of London, Johnson’s commute from his home in Islington to City Hall was a little over three miles each way by the most direct route.
With his journey to Whitehall taking an hour by car due to London’s traffic, Johnson has since moved to a grace and favour apartment in Carlton Gardens, a short walk across St James’s Park from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
After news emerged of his ban from cycling, one of Johnson’s friends said: “Boris loves cycling, he used to go everywhere on a bike while he was mayor, so being told he can no longer do this is a real irritation for him.
“He pushed back, but the coppers were adamant and he accepts he makes quite a recognisable target. He is now working on other ways to burn off all those big diplomatic dinners.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.