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Little Miss Naughty had tempted me into divulging my route, something I normally keep secret. Consequently 10 of us set off for my excursion into deserted London. I say deserted, but I had of course neglected to mention the several million people attending Notting Hill carnival that day.
The route from Uxbridge over Pole Hill and out to Ealing to the Brentham tennis club was uneventful other than a call for an unscheduled comfort break in Northala park. The Brentham club was welcoming, with tea and home-made cakes, we all were suitably refreshed.
Making our way onwards under Hanger Lane and down into Park Royal where we joined the grand union canal. Following the canal through to Paddington we were soon in the middle of carnival territory. Signs on every lamp post announced “carnival traffic prohibited loiterers cycle event in progress.” Lilo declared that this was the noisiest cycle ride she had ever been on. Whilst Chris paused for a moment to negotiate a deal with a dodgy character beneath a bridge, Bernie engaged a scantily clad carnival dancer in a conversation about the merits of the Rolhoff 14 speed hub gear. But it was the gyrating movement of Jim Swans hips that finally left me so disturbed I decided we had best move on.
We had a look at Little Venice and negotiated original cobbled surfaces into Paddington Station. We had a look at Praed Street and a mews terrace before quickly finding ourselves in Hyde Park. The circuit of the park went well, but a second call for an unscheduled comfort break lead to disaster. Colin was heading for the loo, when a collision occurred with another cyclist and both were brought to the ground. Colin was bleeding from minor facial cuts and was clearly in a lot of pain around his ribs. We initially feared cracked ribs, but after a short time it became clear that he was just badly bruised. Presently we were able to continue at a reduced pace, we left the park by the Albert Hall where Chris and John made a small diversion for sightseeing.
The route onwards towards Earls Court involves traversing two short alleyways where cycling is prohibited. On emerging from the second I was confronted by a well dressed gentleman who in a thick German accent shouted,
“Can you not read, the sign says no cycling, yes you can read, but you are British and you do not care, hah!”
I was not sure if he was genuinely angry or if this was just a joke. As the rest of the pack emerged from the alley he repeated the accusations loudly. We left it to Lilo to present our response and in an equally thick German accent she shouted back
“I am not British I am German”.
He appeared to be satisfied by this.
Shortly afterwards we passed the former home of Freddie Mercury. On Barons Court road I pointed out the premises where Mahatma Gandhi and I had been neighbours, he living at number 21, and I living at number 22a, I was upset at the injustice of his blue plaque compared to the lack of recognition for my residence. Unfortunately we never actually met as he moved out in 1948 and I didn’t move in until 1974. Colin left us at Barons Court tube station where he made his way home by train. We plunged onwards into Margravine Cemetery a beautiful oasis of calm in otherwise busy part of central London. The tranquillity and stonemasonry are protected from vandalism by a perimeter wall that is at least 12 feet high and at dusk each evening the gates are locked for the night. Should you take a different route through the cemetery to the gatekeeper it is possible to become locked in. In my experience this does not go down well with a female companion. It is possible to scale the wall and exit onto Field Road, but, the jump down, having removed stilettos, I am assured, is painful on the ankles. Nevertheless she still married me.
The Black Lion was spacious, friendly and the food was good though horrendously expensive. We relaxed and chatted, forgetting of course that time and tide waiteth not for the lazy loiterer.
After lunch we set off to follow the Thames Path down to Dukes Meadow. I picture the Thames Path as being a thoroughfare adjacent to the river. On this occasion the route was in the river. Chris complained that the river should not be so high as there had been so little rain. A passing lady looked puzzled and began to explain about the moon, we suggested that she ought not to bother. Bernie took over the explanation and set about defining the terms Spring tide and Neep tide. Yes, with you so far Bernie. He then went on to explain that Spring tide, like Spring Cabbage, had nothing to do with the seasons…….: Ok, lets just leave it there shall we. The tide was coming in fast and whilst Moses and the first few made it through to dry land, by the time Peter tried to follow the water was so deep he fell off and dislodged his back wheel. Graham commented that he had joined this ride because he thought it might be interesting, he had not however expected it to be as interesting as this. Chris had taken responsibility for communications between the two halves of the party. Although initially reluctant he had waded into the water and now appeared to be enjoying it far more and was almost waist deep. Liliane voiced disapproval of any type of aquarian cycling. The various delays meant that time was now tight and Moses decided to forego the promised land of Dukes Meadow and instead take the Israelites through the grounds of Chiswick House thus avoiding further trouble with Old Father Thames. The joys of tea at Osterley Park were also sacrificed in order to beat a prompt and hasty retreat back up the grand union towpath from Brentford and back home to Uxbridge, via Southall, pausing only to debate the profile of the rails on the original Great Western Railway. Dispersal began in Yeading and was completed by Hillingdon Circus.
|Started in:||London, England, GB|
|Elevation:||+ 1231 / - 1317 ft|
|Departed:||Aug 31, '15, 06:19PM|
|Starts in:||London, England, GB|
|Selected distance:||34.9 mi|
|Elevation:||+ 1231 / - 1317 ft|
Best format for turn by turn directions on Edge 500, 510. Will provide true turn by turn navigation on Edge 800, 810, 1000, Touring including custom cue entries. Great for training when we release those features. Not currently optimal for Virtual Partner.
Useful for uploading your activity to another service, keeping records on your own computer etc.
Useful for any GPS unit. Contains no cuesheet entries, only track information (breadcrumb trail). Will provide turn by turn directions (true navigation) on the Edge 705/800/810/1000/Touring, but will not have any custom cues. Works great for Mio Cyclo. Find GPS specific help in our help system.
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