It might be a bit hard to tell from this photograph, snapped on my BlackBerry earlier this afternoon, but the tree on the far right is covered in green shoots. All the other hundreds of trees in Richmond Park seem oblivious to the change in season and the sudden onset of mild weather, but this particular tree is right with the program. In a few days time I'm sure the entire tree will be ablaze with bright green, fully emerged leaves. Its counterparts will be left behind, naked, if they are not careful!
Today's ride, by the way, was a bit of a hard slog. I didn't have my "cycling legs" and there was a headwind for a great deal of my journey.
I considered just getting to Richmond Park, then turning around and going home, because that would have been a respectable 8mile ride. But alas, once I got to the park, and trundled up the first incline past Roehampton Gate, and saw the tree and its green leafy shoots photographed above, I didn't feel so bad. I think it was more to do with the change in direction, which meant the wind was no longer a problem.
No sun in the sky and there was the imminent threat of rain throughout, but it wasn't terribly cold (I only had a t-shirt on under my cycling jacket), so overall the conditions were fairly good.
Not many people about though, which is something I've tended to notice whenever I cycle early on a Friday afternoon. Perhaps everyone's in the pub or having leisurely lunches? Anyway, I'm not complaining. It's good to feel like I have the park to myself.
It's even better when I stop at a little roadside van to partake in a little energy boost: a cup of coffee and a double-chocolate muffin! Sssshhhh, don't tell anyone
Total distance: 17.42miles (28km) | Ride time: 1hr 42min and 35sec | Average speed: 10.1mph | Top speed: 20.9mph