Back in the saddle after a three-week lay-off

Trees-in-Richmond-Park

I've been living the good life lately — eating out, drinking loads of alcohol, not doing much exercise — so is it any wonder I felt sluggish when I got back in the saddle for the first time after a three-week hiatus?

It felt good to be out and about though. The weather was certainly mild enough and I'm amazed to see that most of the trees are still adorned in their autumnal clothing, even at this late stage of the year. Cycling along the Thames tow path was like scooting through a long, leafy tunnel of gold — beautiful.

Richmond Park was similarly beautiful, although I admit that it took me a little while to truly appreciate it because I was feeling so knackered. I took a ten-minute rest about 6 miles into my journey just to recover from the sudden shock of doing cardiovascular exercise after such a long lay off. (This is the most time I've had away from the bike since I began cycling regularly last December.)

I seem to have got my second wind about 8 miles in and then it was smooth sailing — oops, pedalling — all the way!

Hardly a soul about, too, which was great — Richmond Park is a bit like that: it can make you feel as if you've truly escaped the hustle and bustle of London even though it's "just down the road" as it were.

Total distance: 14.80miles (23.8km) | Ride time: 1hr, 25min and 15sec | Average speed: 10.4mph | Top speed: 19.5mph

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