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.”
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.