A 20-mile cycle taking in Richmond Park — twice

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The freelance life means I sometimes have weeks where I have so much to do I don't know if I am coming or going, and other weeks where I have nothing scheduled. This week I'm at a completely loose end, so what better way to make the most of a sunny morning than going on a quick cycle?

Well, I thought I was going to go on a quick cycle. But then I got to Richmond Park and on a whim I decided to exit out of Sheen Gate to see where it would take me. It took me to Mortlake, along Cycle Route 4 and a very busy high street, and then I had the option of heading back home via Barnes, or going on to Kew and Richmond along the river. I chose the latter.

This meant what could have been a fairly comfortable (and quick) 8 or 9 mile cycle turned into more than twice that!

But it was lovely out. I followed the Thames path, which is as bumpy as hell in the stretch between Kew Gardens and Richmond, and then had a hairy 100yd experience slipping and sliding through an inch of mud on cobblestones near the Richmond waterfront. I suspect there was a rather high tide last night, because the waterfront in Richmond, right through until Ham, was littered with flotsam and jetsam and in the unsurfaced parts there was plenty of sticky, slippy river mud, too.

I ended up cycling to Ham House, then heading inland to Richmond Park again  — my second time in the same morning — via Ham Gate. Then I cut right through the middle of the park and exited at Roehampton Gate, before heading home via Barnes. This meant I had effectively cycled one giant 20 mile loop!

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As an aside, I was delighted to see many of the trees are in bud (see above) — it won't be long before I'm cycling through leafy green tunnels again.

Total distance: 20.75miles (33.38km) | Ride time: 1hr 59min and 56sec | Average speed: 10.3mph | Top speed: 21.1mph

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