You get the afternoon off work and it's chucking it down with rain outside. Do you:
(a) go home, put the kettle on and settle down with a good book?
(b) decide to go for a long cycle to Richmond Park?
Um, you can guess what option I chose.
So, after having cycled into work (6.5 miles) and cycled back (another 6.5 miles), I decided to keep right on cycling and made my way to Richmond Park (5 miles) for a trundle. To be honest, I was in two minds about making the journey, especially as the rain bucketed down when I was just a mile or so from home. But by the time I'd approached my neighbourhood the sky cleared, so I kept going.
When I got to Richmond Park you'd be forgiven for thinking it was an entirely different country: there was nary a cloud in the blue sky and the sun was shining brightly.
There were stunning views from the top of King Henry's Mound — sadly, my photographs, snapped on my Smartphone, don't really convey the striking autumnal colours, all reds and golds and vibrant yellows.
I took it slowly and trundled my way around the park — well, I didn't do a full circuit. I cut across the middle via Cycle Route 4 then headed for the cafe at Roehampton Gate, where I tucked into a giant slab of (well deserved) carrot cake washed down with a cup of coffee.
I was sitting outside and in the 10 minutes it took me to enjoy my late afternoon tea, I watched the sky darken and felt the temperature drop. I knew another downpour was on the way, so it was back onto the bike before I got caught in a storm.
You guessed it. Three miles from home the heavens opened. The rain was so heavy I could see it bouncing off the ground — and it was stinging my legs. (I was wearing shorts.)
By the time I got home, at about 4.45pm, I was drenched from head to foot. I'm sure if I had have wrung out my shorts, I could have filled a pint glass with the water!
A hot shower made up for it though.
Total distance travelled today: roughly 25 miles. Go me.
The stats below include two Monday commutes, today's commute and today's trundle around Richmond Park.
Total distance*: 50.29miles (80.91km) | Ride time: 4hr, 38min and 35sec | Average speed: 10.7mph | Top speed: 21.7mph
* I forgot my bike computer on Monday's return journey, so I have added an extra 6.5 miles and 35 minutes to the figures.