20 miles of London’s peace and quiet

It’s been a while since I last wrote on my blog and I apologise for that.  Too much going on at work and relatively little action in the sailing department have conspired against me providing the fortnightly updates that I wanted to make.  However, I went for a ride around a part of London last week that many cyclists don’t realise exists.  It’s another of those 20 mile pre-work routes that I have in my collection that takes in the Thames Path, Richmond Park and Hyde Park.

I’ve done the ride a few times over the past few months and I enjoy it a great deal.  The route is not particularly fast because of the large number of difficult manoeuvres and bends involved on the Thames Path.  There is also a bit of a hazard as I found to my cost outside Bedford House (near the Leg of Mutton Nature Reservoir) where I crashed on a previous ride after touching my brakes on a part of the road which had been flooded by the Thames on a spring tide and covered in silt.  I always treat that section with caution nowadays.

It was a pretty cold start to the day last Thursday.  I got up at about 6am and went out onto the terrace at the back of the flat to check the weather.  It was a beautifully clear sky and it was still possible to see some stars.  I donned my cycling gear, including a thermal top and long-fingered gloves, and headed down to the basement to collect the bike just before 7am.

I felt the bite of the wind as I went through Kensington on my way to Putney Bridge where I joined the Thames Pathway, north of the Thames.  The route was littered with the autumn leaves that had fallen, so I needed proceed with caution.

As the sun started to rise, the Thames came alive.  Beautifully calm and flat at low tide (or thereabouts), with a beautiful dawn mist around Fulham.

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I had to do the usual detour over the railway bridge at Mortlake to avoid what is typically a ten minute delay at the level crossing that is located there.  However, once the bridge had been crossed, I was clear for the push up the hill into Richmond Park.

The park is always a couple of degrees colder than when in the built up areas.  Whilst this doesn’t usually make much of a difference, it did last Thursday to the extent that the views were spectacular.  I stopped just inside the park to take in the spectacular views.  How worthwhile it had been to get up early that day and I’m sure you’ll agree that the sights were worthwhile.

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I could feel the cold setting in after a couple of minutes, so I got back onto my bike and rode through the park.  I crossed back over the Thames at Putney Bridge and made my way back through Chelsea and Hyde Park to arrive safely at Aphrodite, the Greek cafe just near the flat.  As usual, the smoked salmon, scrambled egg and toast did not disappoint.  Neither did the three double espressos!

What a great start to the day I thought to myself as I got ready to head off to work.

One comment

  1. love the early morning valley mist over the river too, as long as it stays just for the morning and doesn’t hang around all day like today – london looks very peaceful in those pictures doesn’t it

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