First ride of August

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I haven't been cycling much this past week or so — I've been too busy watching the coverage of the road and velodrome cycling at the Olympics and revelling in the achievements of the Brits and the Aussies.

I have taken this week off, thinking I'd go cycling every day, but I've been spending my mornings reading and the rest of the day/evening with bum parked firmly on the sofa. But now that the Olympic track cycling is over, I actually found time to go for a trundle today.

And where did I go? Richmond Park, of course.

It was a beautiful day. Warm and sunny. And the park was gloriously lush and filled with majestic-looking stags (see photograph above).

There were also a lot of cyclists around — and not just the lycra lads that fly around the circuit at lightning pace. Today there were cyclists of all sizes, shapes, ages and abilities — on an equally diverse range of bikes — trundling along the road. I suspect this may have been a combination of great weather, school holidays and Team GB's Olympic cycling success encouraging more people to get out on their bikes.

Whatever it is, long may it continue.

As for my cycle, it was a lot of fun. I felt very fit, thanks mainly to a month's solid cycling (which I've neglected to report here) and strong, thanks to a lot of carbs in my system (from beer, noodles and crisp consumption over the past week or so!). I also got to try out my new cycling mitts — a birthday present from T — after my 7-year-old ones began to look a little worse for wear!

Total distance: 17miles (27.4km) | Ride time: 1hr 33min | Average speed: 10.9mph | Top speed: 23.6mph