10 May 2010
Trunk route: Collect elephants on a jumbo bike tour
Any excuse for a ride around London... 250 life-size baby plastic painted elephants have been placed around the city, each painted individually by various artists. A fine bike tour in the making.
They're on display until until mid-June, and are there to raise awareness and money for conservation projects aiming to save the animal from extinction.
After all, its natural space is being eroded, it's under constant attack, and though it seems to be thriving in some areas, overall its numbers are struggling. As cyclists we know the feeling.
Many are round City Hall, Green Park, Trafalgar Square and the Eye, with a few adventurous individuals out at Heathrow Terminal 5, the Museum of London in Docklands, St Pancras, and of course the Elephant and Castle (where many of them were painted).
One of our favourites is this one (right) at City Hall. Peer inside through its portholes, and you see a plastic melange of London architecture, roamed by more elephants.
There's a map and location list at elephantparadelondon.org. Collecting the set would make a set of bike trips you'd never forget.
They'll be herded together at the Royal Hospital grounds, Chelsea from 24 June to 4 July. On 3 July they'll be auctioned off, so you can have your very own elephant in the room.