Yesterday I cycled in with S before enjoying an eight-mile ride across London for a meeting. At A2's suggestion I crossed Richmond Park and it was AMAZING.
I didn't know there were cycle and pedestrian only roads through the centre. Smooth tarmac and gorgeous surroundings. Enormous Red deer were right next to one section and they sat looking menacingly beautiful with enormous spring antlers as I slowly pedalled past to take in the sight. They're HUGE close up, but while I kept a respectful distance and kept moving just in case they seemed happy to let me pedal past.
I left the park and headed for the river before crossing one of the locks.
All this was very picturesque but my God I was hot. It was incredibly muggy and the air was alive with the sound of small buzzing insects. I arrived for my appointment sweaty and dishevelled. Luckily, A2 works where I was headed so tucked my panniers away and guided me to a washroom where my carefully packed kit of washing equipment, moisturiser and dry shampoo came into its own. I re-emerged looking far more human.
When business was concluded A2 offered to guide me part of the way home. He knows the area far better than I do so I was grateful for the help. But then it happened. I attempted to race him. I was back in my lycra at this point but I was still laden with two heavy panniers on a mid-range bike compared to his carbon fibre lovely and a small rucksack for luggage.
We whizzed along anyway as we're both fairly quick off the mark but my one overtake (23mph) was an error. Afterwards I panted for some time as A2 discreetly took a notch off the speed to allow me to compose myself after seeing my tomato face and hearing the panty wheeze of someone ill-matched their opponent. He dropped me off and I cycled the rest of the way alone. All in all I cycled around 11 miles home, plus the eight I'd cycled two hours before.
I was a wee bit tired this morning. Probably not a good thing that I had to drop camping supplies to my parents' house for them to drive them to where I'm going this weekend before picking up S this morning. Sigh.... Sooooo tired.....