Of mad dogs and Englishmen

The mornings, cold and foggy, have conspired with my lazy genes to keep me off my bike for much of this week. I get up, look out the window, check the messages on my phone, then snuggle back under the duvet for another half-hour or so. Shame on me.

But this morning I was determined to hit the road regardless of the weather and that horrible little voice in my head that talks me out of doing exercise.

No sooner was I trundling down Kensington High Street, wrestling red buses and a couple of irritable black cabs, than it started to snow. It was pointy snow. Sharp and cold. At first I didn’t know what it was, I just knew it was hurting my face!

By the time I’d cycled to Hyde Park Corner, a couple of miles down the road, I could feel the cold seeping into my bones. I can’t say this has ever happened before because I’m usually snuggly warm in all my layers – thermal tights and waterproof trousers, a moisture-wicking long-sleeved tee-shirt, a high-necked fleece and a day-glow windproof cycling jacket, plus fleece gloves.

So there I was shivering in my many mantles of clothing when I spied a fellow cyclist – a man – whizz by wearing Lycra bike shorts and a tight-fitting tee-shirt. What do they say? Mad dogs and Englishmen? Brrrrrr.

A Sunday morning cycle through Richmond Park


I decided to appease my guilt for lack of commuter cycling this past week (due to inch-thick morning frosts and an inability to get out of my cosy bed, shame on me) by going on a longish cycle to Richmond Park this morning.

So armed with a map and my camera, I took to the streets and managed, somehow, to cycle my way across Hammersmith Bridge, through Barnes, past The Priory (where all the rockstars and models go to get help with their drug problems or eating disorders) and on into Richmond Park through Roehampton Gate.

There was a little nip in the air and some blustery wind, but the sun was shining and the sky was a beautiful blue. I have to confess that it was a little hard to appreciate when I first arrived because I felt bloody exhausted – all that nervous energy expended through trying to find the park in heavy Sunday morning traffic had taken its toll. I had to get off my bike and have a wee rest to catch my breath…

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