My closest relative in this country, dad’s elder brother, lives in Uxbridge. Being the eldest son, he had gone to India for grandpa’s last rites and only came back last week. So, last Friday I went over to see him. There was also the small matter of collecting the barfi (Indian sweet) that Ma had sent for me through him :D
The ride, overall, was pretty easy – hardly any inclines, only a light headwind and temperatures not too much below double digits.
But (yes, there’s always a but), that didn’t meant there were not hiccups. For one, on the ride to Uxbridge, I decided to avoid the main roads as long as possible. That meant I had to take the inner roads with lotsa turns which meant just one thing – stopping every 500m to check the map on phone. That meant no momentum and really no ensoiment*. Was further disappointed when I finally did join the main road (A4020/Uxbridge Road) and saw that the road had dedicated cycle lanes and paths on both sides while I’d been struggling with directions and traffic on the smaller roads avoiding it.
Had a good time with Tayaji (north Indian term for dad’s elder brother) including a long chat that wouldn’t have usually happened if we had our better halves around. He even made coffee for us :)
The trip back should’ve been much easier with the earlier discovered bike lanes and the wind on my back. Unfortunately, barely 3 kms into the ride back, I felt the back tyre touching the breaks. A quick check confirmed the fears – it was out of shape again. It also reminded me that I’d forgotten to restart the GPS on the way back. I loosened the brakes enough to stop the touching but the ride thereafter was cautious, and unhappy. I haven’t ridden 500kms since I got the bike back from Evans after wheel truing last time and it’s spoilt again.
Nevertheless, the ride was easy – cycle lane to Shepherd Bush and then a quick straight route home through Notting Hill and Maida Vale. A nice and simple 50km ride to-from Uxbridge.
*ensoi = enjoy in campus lingo of the b-school I went to. I like this word so still stick with it :)