With no real route planned in advance, I took to the streets and headed to Hyde Park. It was such a lovely day that I decided to keep on cycling into town.
I'd forgotten about the tourists wandering all over the cycle path on Constitution Hill, but no bother. I wasn't in any rush — and most of them were very polite, uttering profuse apologies in foreign accents, when I rang my bell.
Once I hit Trafalgar Square I took a sharp left and headed towards Piccadilly, stopping off at Lower Regent Street for some lunch — half a baguette and a flat white from Pret.
Then I pottered around some of the side streets, including St James' Square, before back tracking and making my way, once again, to Hyde Park.
The sun was in full force — although the air had a sharp bite to it — and there was a real feeling that spring was in the air. So many people were out and about, on foot, on bike and on roller blades, making the most of the fine weather.
I cycled up the Broad Walk (see above), which takes you directly from Queen Elizabeth Gate (near Hyde Park Corner) in the south, to Speaker's Corner in the north. I love this avenue of trees. It looks amazing in summer — a gorgeously green, leafy tunnel — but I love it in winter, too, because you get to see the shape of the tree trunks and branches, unadorned by leaves but accentuated by a fine coating of lime-green moss.
I ended up doing two laps of the park, including an experimental traverse on a newly laid cycle path that takes you right past the Old Police House. (I don't know how many times I've visited Hyde Park over the years, but I never realised it has its own police station slap bang in the heart of the park.)
From there, I then cycled through Kensington Gardens and was delighted to see these daffodils in full bloom. I guess that can only mean one thing: spring is not far away.
And then it was off down Kensington High Street, stopping off for a quick grocery shop in Waitrose, before making it back home in one piece — and entirely mud free!
Total distance: 14.94miles (24km) | Ride time: 1hr, 28min and 10sec | Average speed: 10.1mph | Top speed: 18.9mph