Let me tell you about yesterday's excursion by bike.
Under overcast skies that threatened rain, we were on the road by 9.40am.
Over Hammersmith Bridge and then onto the south-side of the Thames Path.
Through Barnes and Mortlake, accompanied by the sounds of rowing teams training on the river – the chug-chug-chug of the coach's motorboat, voices booming "faster, girls, faster" and the wash and splash of oars hitting the water's shimmering surface.
Onwards past Kew on a bumpedy-bump-bump gravel-strewn track, the Thames on one side and Kew Garden's protective moat on the other.
Big sighs of relief when we hit the strip of beautifully smooth asphalt that leads us into Richmond. After seven bone-jarring miles, we stop for morning tea, reviving ourselves with Free Trade chocolate brownies and big mugs of filter coffee from a cafe under the arches of Richmond Bridge.
To the north side of the river and a cycle path lined with gently weeping peppercorn trees. Teams of kayakers on the river and a gentle, cooling breeze floating up off the water.
A few little side excursions into residential streets to admire cottages and terrace houses adorned with purple wisteria.
Back on the bikes to make the return journey via a refreshment stop at the Rose & Crown pub on Kew Green.
In the door at 3.30pm, feeling exhausted and bone-weary, only to find the sun emerging for the first time all day. How typical!
Distance travelled: 21.73 miles
Time for return journey: 2hr 40min
Av speed: 8.50 mph
Max speed: 17.4 mph