Before arriving to London, I stopped off at a friends in Milton Keynes where Maria would stay over night and allow me a day in London on my own to do podcasts and interviews. I usually buy the big issue and tell them to keep my copy so they can sell on but this time I kept my copy as a story I’ve written is in this edition. It was pretty surreal to be in it because I’ve buy the Big Issue whenever I’m the country.

Click here to read the story: The life changing power of a street dog called Lucy

I hate saying good bye to Maria, even for just one night, but I knew she was in good hands and was staying in a beautiful country house with a big garden. Off I went to London!

First I met journalist Richard Moore from The Cycling Podcast and we recorded a podcast in Soho Square which was pretty cool.

Then I went to Wardour Studios to record the Wheel Suckers Podcast with Alex from Look Mum No Hands and Jenny from London Bike Kitchen. I was so excited because it was my first time in a recording studio – one of the coolest moments in my life! What a laugh we had!

I was very impressed with Jenny’s basket on the front of her bike …

I stayed with friends in London that night and the next day caught a train back to Milton Keynes to collect Maria. We met an actress on the train back to London, who fell in love with Maria and escorted us to the front door of Stanford Book Shop where I was to sign books.

This is Maria’s first time on London Underground! She loved it and had the whole carriage smiling at her and ooohing and petting her! I’ve visited London a few times before but this is first time with a dog and wow – London is so dog friendly! Everyone was smiling and petting her and even if I nipped in to get a take away coffee the staff would insist I bring Maria inside. I went into one cafe to order take away salad and the staff insisted I bring Maria in – then their hearts melted and they fed her lots of chicken for free! She really is receiving VIP treatment in London!

Stanfords is a world famous map and travel bookshop. It’s amazing guys! Ceiling to floor of travel! And as you weave your way through the shelves of books, maps and gifts you are walking across maps painted onto the floor! Having no money meant I bought nothing but I made a big note to myself that if my book sells I’m going to make another visit to Stanfords and buy EVERYTHING! ha ha!

Photo below is me and Maria sitting next to my book on a book shelf. It’s too incredible for me to understand this is actually happening … but it is!!!

Jude Brosnan who is marketing manager for Stanfords, gave us a guided tour. Which was awesome because she rides tandems and is a pilot for blind athletes. We discussed the possibilities of attaching dog trailers onto tandems to carry guide dogs. It was amazing meeting Jude regardless of my book – she is an inspirational woman, doing amazing things and having a positive contribution to the world around her.

Maria was a street dog in Brazil before I adopted her … so was surreal moment her sitting on a map of Brazil in London City!

Funny moment was when it came to signing the books and I whipped out my biro and she kindly explained authors usually carry Sharpies or good pens to sign books ha ha ha! To the 200 of you, who I wrote personal messages in pre-ordered books – sorry! lol After I left Stanfords I went and bought Sharpies lol! Thanks Jude! 🙂

Maria just looks cute everywhere she goes!

I took Maria for walks in London’s central parks and she was very well behaved.

Then in the evening we did an event in Prince of Wales Bar in Covent Garden.

The Prince of Wales is very dog friendly – in fact they LOVE dogs and the manager has 3 dogs – 2 of which she rescued! Can’t recommend this venue enough for events! And the Guinness was top notch!

Maria was the star of the show. Everyone came to see her and endured me lol only joking – it was an amazing event but I drank way to little Guinness – must talk less lol!

This was us rooting for Jenny Graham, a Scottish lassie, who’s 37 years old and in June of this year set off on her world record attempt to be fastest woman to cycle around the globe! She’s currently pedalling across Australia just now and averaging 180 miles per day. Yep that’s no typo – 180 MILES PER DAY! get following Jenny across social media and show her your support! GO JENNY GO!!!

JENNY’S TWITTER

TRACK JENNY’S PROGRESS ON MAP

JENNY/ADVENTURE SYNDICATE

Today me and Maria leave London but before we do we are off to meet the incredible Emily Chappell who is author and long distance endurance athlete. Really excited about this! Been following Emily online for ages! Check her out here:

EMILY’S TWITTER

EMILY’S BLOG

EMILY/ADVENTURE SYNDICATE

What an incredible time in London – thank you so much to everyone we met and to my friends who hosted us. See you all next time!

Update to blog post: 7.14 pm – well we met up with Emily Chappell in Hyde Park! Emily had a fruit scone and I went for the gluten free beetroot and chocolate fudge cake and we enjoyed coffee as we shared our adventure stories from around the world. She really understood everything because she’s done what I’ve done. It was really refreshing chatting to her and what a laugh we had! Then she bought my book and it was so surreal signing it for Emily Chappell who I followed even before I began cycling the world!

Me and Maria are now back in Milton Keynes relaxing in the countryside. Ishbel xxx

 

 

 

My book ‘Me, My Bike and a Street Dog Called Lucy’ is available to buy on Amazon and Kindle.

 

 

Ishbel, creator of World Bike Girl, has spent her life on bicycles, from road racing, to velodrome sprinting to cycling the world. She has pedalled across 20 countries solo and promotes commuting by bicycle. Much to the dismay of her friends, she is an avid wearer of socks and sandals.