Like clockwork

Photo: Deer in Richmond Park getting in some winter training

The last two days ran like clockwork. Two days of going round and round in a clockwise direction. Yesterday a 70k ride lapping The Regent’s Park, today 110km lapping Richmond Park.

What didn’t go like clockwork was getting to Richmond Park. Only last night Jan and I were discussing the challenges of riding/running through the streets of London with pedestrians walking out in front of us without looking. Many are engrossed in their phones and with earpieces. They neither see nor hear us. Madness. So far I have managed to avoid them, but not today.

Free wheeling down a cycle lane with a stationary line of buses on my right I was half a bus length from a gap when he appeared. Not looking, he walked right out in front of me. I hit the brakes and shouted. A slow impact, but nevertheless he stood upright and I ended up on the floor, chain off.

“Sorry mate, completely my fault. I’m not used to working in London with all these cycle lanes, so sorry mate” he said as picked myself off the floor. The irony was that he was working on a building site and was dressed head to toe in safety gear. Steel capped boots, hi viz jacket and trousers, hard hat, safety goggles and ear defenders. He was fine.

I was fine too, apart from a sore hip. A quick check of the bike, all ok. My thanks to the three pedestrians who stopped to help. I was on my way after a few minutes.

On the way back from Richmond Park I bumped into an old friend. Not a collision this time. I popped into Tim Little shoes on the King’s Road to see the wonderful Howard. We hadn’t seen each other for a few years so I walked in, full helmet, glasses and neck roll. He had no idea who I was (that was the idea). “Can I help you mate?” he said nervously. I stood there for a few moments not saying a word, then peeled off the helmet, glasses etc. Best not to say what he said to me when he realised who it was. I’m sure you can work it out.

Howard is one of the most positive people I know. The ride started on a low and finished on a wonderful high.




Year to date

1,306km / 14 rides / 93.5km average per ride

10,621m elevation gain (1.2 Everests)


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