|The cyclist and the London skyline |
It seems hard to believe that
January is almost over, but what a month it’s been. 2018 certainly seems to be
turning out to be an exciting year of surprises and new experiences for me and with so
much going on, I think it will take me about three blog posts to get you up to
date with all my news. I’ll start on a sporty note, as to my surprise the year
started out cycling, in London of all places.
|Adrian and Delilah in London|
Unusually for us we spent New
Year’s Eve in the UK, so decided an organised club cycle ride on New Year’s Day
would be the perfect start to 2018. Adrian recently treated himself to a new
bike (N+1) for cycle commuting
in the UK, however, it’s not just any bike; it’s a folding bike, a Brompton
folding bike. Depending on his work schedule he cycles up to 100km a week on
it, sorry, on her, Delilah, and on weekends he’s free to cycle away to his
For those of you who don’t
know, over 20 years ago Adrian and I met when we were both members of the
London and Surrey Mini Owners Club. Our weekends (pre-marriage, Ed and France )
consisted of driving miles in our Mini’s, in convoy with our club mates and
having a blast at Mini club events. We still have Ade’s Mini, but moving to
France meant turning our back on the club scene. Until now that is. Ade and
Delilah have joined the London Brompton Club and are often to be found cycling
in London with them, and on New Years Day Ed and I, with two hired Brompton
bikes, joined in the fun too.
|London Brompton Club in Osterley Park|
43kms of fun to be precise,
cycling the London parks around Richmond, Isleworth and along the Thames to
Hammersmith. I’d forgotten how much fun club camaraderie can be, and you can’t
help but be cheered by the smiles the public give you when they realise you’re
part of a convoy of quirky looking, cute bikes. The added bonus for me was that
it was in the area of London where I was born and spent the first four years of
my life. I can’t say I remembered too much, but had a blast on my first
Brompton experience, and first time cycling in London too. This is something I
never thought I’d do, but with a great network of cycle paths it wasn’t as
tricky as I’d been expecting. Being of short stature myself, I rather enjoyed
the compactness of Ajax, my nippy little hired Brompton with her low centre of gravity –
we were made for each other.
|Ajax and I in London Docklands|
In fact our UK trip saw us cycling
in London twice and proved to be a real trip down memory lane. Not only did we
visit west London where I was born, but another cycle adventure took us to the
east end and docklands area, where Adrian’s family are from and where he spent
school holidays with his Nana. We found the church his parents got married in
and also cycled our favourite haunts in the City.
We both commuted to work in
the City for many years and I’m sure meeting for lunch every day when we were
‘just friends’ helped to cement our relationship. We have lots of happy memories
of those days and revisiting by bike was a great way to start the year we will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.
Ed and I signed up to BromptonBike Hire in order to join in the fun, and the individually named bikes we got
were in good condition, even if the hire process does seem to have a few
technical issues. For example, codes given when reserving a bike online didn’t
always open the secure bays where the bikes were collected and deposited back
to. Following a text to inform us we’d left a bay open, we had to return, only
to find it was securely closed. As if there weren’t enough issues when
collecting the bikes, returning them to find a vandalised bay meant another
phone call to the (thankfully) helpful helpdesk. Despite the problems we
encountered I’m sure Ed and I will hire again when we are in the UK, so we can
join Adrian and Delilah on another club ride.
|Brompton Bike Hire Reading station|
The next blog will see me
trying out yoga in a yurt and Zumba. Go me!
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