So, remember me? Yes, it's been awhile.
Cycling seems to have taken a back seat since my last post in August 2013. Since then I've cycled just a (pathetic) handful of times — a 9.6 mile cycle along the rail trail during a month-long trip to Australia in September, and four days' commuting in February and three days' commuting last week — so it's about time I got back into the habit.
I've signed up to do Nightrider London on June 7-8, a 60-mile cycle around the capital by moonlight, which means I need to do a bit of training, pronto.
So with a free day at my disposal I decided to head to my favourite haunt, Richmond Park, for a quick spin this afternoon.
My last visit was almost a year ago (where does the time go?), but nothing had really changed — it was as lush and as green as I remembered it. Most of trees are coming into leaf, so everything looks fresh and new. And the grass is thick and rich, albeit a little muddy in places.
I did my usual half circuit around the Tamsin Trail before heading inland along Cycle Route 4. I was feeling surprisingly fit and strong. I might not have been cycling much lately, but since 6 January I've been walking at least 40 miles per week and have lost 7kg in the process, so I guess it's been doing me some good.
It felt good to be out and about, spinning the pedals and breathing in the air under a blue, blue sky.
I ended up stopping at the half-way point — the little food caravan near the Pen Ponds car park — and had a bit of a breather accompanied, no less, by a coffee and a huge brownie. And then I headed on my way, genuinely delighted that I'd made the effort to cycle to the park after such a long absence.
Next time, I won't leave it so long.
Total distance: 15.89miles (25.57km) | Ride time: 1hr 42min and 40sec | Average speed: 9.3mph