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 has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.