Wednesday 10 July 2013 – London.
We have had fine weather for ten days now, loving it ! I decided I would take the bike for a ride over to Hampton Court as I haven’t been there in decades. It is very expensive to get in, but I planned on just visiting the outside, with the journey being the main activity.
Though, I actually never made it to Hampton Court. I am just a little too competitive on the road and just cannot pootle along slowly and enjoy the view, or read road signs. I did make it according to my plan as far as Putney Bridge but got a bit misplaced after that and ended up barrelling along Upper Richmond Road, where I had a hand gesture argument with a dickhead in a Range Rover. He failed to understand that the large area at traffic lights with a bike painted on it is for bikes, not dickheads in Range Rovers – I did try to educate him.
After that wee burst of energy I arrived in the lovely zone of calm that is Richmond Park. I was sort of looking for some of the many deer that live here and found a large heard relaxing under some trees. It was then I realised I didn’t have my camera on me, so all photos are courtesy of my phone, sorry – they are pretty crap…
It was then I decided I would not ride the few extra miles to Hampton Court, but enjoy the park and force myself to ride slowly back home as far as I could along the Thames tow path.
Bizarrely, even though I lived in Richmond for almost two years in the eighties I never actually turned right at Richmond Bridge and went along the path to Kew, well I certainly do not remember it. I was surprised to find there was a lovely shaded pedal along an unsealed path.
It was hard to believe I was still in London.
The ride was really nice, and I did manage to take it nice and slow and enjoy some of the view and make the most of the cooling breeze in the shade as I pedalled through the mid-day heat.
Eventually it popped back out in to normal south west London Thames side city life – it is not quite the same on the east side of London…
I stopped for a very nice cold drink, coffee and a muffin in Mortlake to cool down for a while.
Before crossing over Putney Bridge and riding back through Chelsea to the city.
It was a pretty good ride. On my rides so far I have found most drivers are very courteous to bike riders, though sadly there are always exceptions. The roads are OK, a lot of the main routes, like this one on Chelsea Embankment, have clear bike lanes and a good surface and there are signs other roads are being fixed as well. I really like how this clearly goes around the bus stop and not through it, which really sucks when there is a bus.
My only quibble is with signage. I got misplaced a couple of times today, and not really because I was going too fast and not paying attention, I assure you (mum) I pay lots of attention to the road when I am riding. The bike path signage is just inconsistent; in the main there are good sized signs up high so you can see them, but then there will be things like this at intersections. Impossible to read if there is a large vehicle in front…
Sort this out Boris and I will be an even happier rider.