A bike ride to Richmond

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…

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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.

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It was hard to believe I was still in London.

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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…

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I stopped for a very nice cold drink, coffee and a muffin in Mortlake to cool down for a while.

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Before crossing over Putney Bridge and riding back through Chelsea to the city.

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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.

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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…

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Sort this out Boris and I will be an even happier rider.

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Wannabe writer and photographer. Interested in travel and place. From Auckland, New Zealand.

2 thoughts on “A bike ride to Richmond”

  1. great stories and pics Phil. Wish i’d had time to read all of them over the past couple of years but the ones I have read are great and funny and just spectacular photos. you’re not only great with the camera, you’re quite the writer too. regards, Tina (Deana’s sis).

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