A couple of trundles after a long absence

After almost a year of not cycling, I've suddenly found myself back in the saddle: I've done two round trips, in two days. One was 12 miles, the other 14. I expected to be stiff and sore and exhausted. Apart from some minor tension in my right shoulder (which stopped me from cycling 12 months ago), all seems well. Why didn't I get back in the saddle sooner?

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And cycling at this time of year is such a treat. The colours of the leaves on the London plane trees are just beautiful, all shimmering golds and yellows.

The above photograph is a view of Constitution Hill, which runs alongside Green Park, but my favourite autumnal scene is the gorgeous leafy avenue which is Bird Cage Walk. Sadly, I didn't have my camera phone at the ready, so I didn't take a shot. But as I cycled along the road at around 1.30pm, under a clear blue sky and a brilliant sun, it felt really good to be alive. The crunching of the leaves under the wheels only added to the experience!

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Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens (above) are particularly beautiful at this time of year, too.

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And it was lovely to come across Amish Kapoor's latest installation — Turning the World Upside Down — in the gardens. I wonder if you can spy the woman in the raspberry cycling jacket in the mirror!