What no one ever tells you when you cycle the Thames Path is this: at high tide the path is likely to be flooded!
I took this shot, shortly after 2.30pm, near The Ship pub in Mortlake. The path normally looks like this:
Never mind, I was able to inch my way through it, and get out the other side relatively unscathed. The woman pushing her child in a buggy behind me wasn't so lucky!
Fortunately, this was pretty much the only downside of today's cycle. Initially I had intended to simply pop down to Kew, as you do, to visit a book shop, but once I found the shop I was looking for I wasn't much in the mood to visit it. (It didn't help that there were roadworks out the front and a little man with a 'Stop' sign standing there giving me a dirty look.)
I kept cycling instead, exploring some of the quieter back streets, and before I knew it I was racing down the very busy Kew Road in a dedicated cycle line (8am to 6pm weekdays) and heading into Richmond.
A quick check of my London A-Z and I figured I should just keep going onto Twickenham Road (in another dedicated -- and completely separate -- lane, no time limit involved) until I got to the river. Then it was just a matter of heading back to Hammersmith via the tow path.
Genius! Except the 8 mile cycle I had originally planned had now magically morphed into an 18 mile extravaganza!
No complaints though. Lovely weather for cycling in: very still and only cold if you stop!
Total distance: 18.7 miles (30.3km) | Ride time: 1hr, 55min and 24sec | Average speed: 9.7mph | Top speed: 19.9mph