Love the rain in LDN these days it…

Love the rain in LDN these days – it pours well, more like the monsoon back home than the dreary, fickly drizzle this city usually gets.
I love the sun – always have, but more so in LDN since I know I’ll soon be spending months in a row begging for a good sight of it.

The rain, accompanied by those loud thunderstorms and lightening, wrecked my plans for a century ride to Brighton today. Still, finding it really hard to diss it. In fact, wishing for some more… rather lots more… before a dry day tomorrow :)


Just realised that even the marked ‘Live’ news…

Just realised that even the marked ‘Live’ news on BBC is sometimes delayed by at least 15 minutes.

Barack Obama’s convoy passed in front of me as I was cycling back from Marylebone some time back and BBC News is showing it on TV right now as Live news.

In other news, cycled to High Wycombe today – only 60kms but about 500m climbing over 2-3 spots. Didn’t have the time or energy to cycle back. Really need to work on my climbing muscles :|


25/365: A perfect Sunday

It takes a brave man to ask people to describe their perfect Sunday on a Monday/Tuesday. That brave man is Scott, the bril fella behind the DailyPost blog.

Before I share, a few clarifications. I’ve always been a 5-day work week person so most of my dream Sundays start on a Saturday. India’s too big a country with wide variety of climates, cultures and people. So, the perfect weekend I’ll have at home, near Delhi is very different from the perfect weekend in Delhi or Joka or Bombay or Goa. Due to this huge variety, and my in built lazy chip, I shall skip it and concern myself only with the perfect weekend here in the UK. Which for me means mostly LDN.

It was a rare sunny summer weekend in LDN. The fact that I was still hungover suggested it might be a Saturday. Or Sunday. Assuming it was a Saturday, I got out of bed before 11AM and started the process of getting ready. Booting up: Brushed teeth, emptied bowels, drank a glass of orange juice, had a bowl of cornflakes and caught up with Google Reader and email. Logging in: Filled the water bottle and water bag, packed a banana and a chocolate bar or two. Checked contents of backpack, tire pressure and brake pads, strapped on the HR band, wore the lycra shorts, covered with baggy shorts, wore a light tee and the sleeveless hi-viz jacket, shoes on. Kissed Rags bye as she still lazed in bed catching up with her twitter feed on the phone. Took the bike out, started Garmin. Launched.

5 hours on the bike with short breaks for banana & chocolate bars. And a Cafe Americano at St. Albans. Long hours on small countryside roads. Small villages. Big Gears. Sunshine. And a smile. It may have had been over 100 kms but I’d felt just as I did on those rides around the neighbourhood as a kid.

Got home, took a quick shower and Rags had already finalised plans for the evening – latest Hollywood thriller / rom-com followed by drinks and dinner at one of our favourite Mexican restaurants. She seemed pretty happy, despite me being missing for quite a few hours on a Saturday. Or was it because of me being missing for a few hours on a Saturday. Must have been on the phone for hours with her girl friends back home sharing gossip and plans. I was just happy that I was getting Mexican for dinner.

Sunday morning. Rather noon. Got pulled out of bed by Rags. All that hugging, kissing and pleading barely won me an extra 15 minutes of shut eye. Made a mental note: disable her Sunday morning alarms before sleeping and put the phones on silent. I was informed, pretty sharply,  that we were late for our brunch meeting. Washed up. Actually dry cleaned, as we use to call it back in the day. Dressed up. Checked her bike tyres and brakes. And off we went.

Biked to Holborn for a late brunch with friends. It’d been an year and they’d still shown surprise that we cycled around. Biked around, I’d corrected them. It’d been 6 months since I first came to this place – My Old Dutch Pancakes – for brunch. Had faithfully visited it at least once a month ever since. Still do. A large Dutch pancake and an espresso shake later, set off for the longer bike ride – to Richmond Park. Chelsea. Hammersmith. Castelnau. Barnes. Richmond. It was her first time there. And was she excited to see the deer! Of course she didn’t ride up the Sawyer’s Hill. And she spent two hours just lying around in the grass. I used the opportunity to put the camera to some use. And took in some sun. Ahh summer sun. You were some beauty that evening.

Getting Rags started again was a struggle. I wonder if it was the summer sun, the beautiful park with its deer or the thought of a long ride back home. Anyway, we did get home after I got cursed at a few times for going ahead too fast. Or too slow. Don’t remember which one it was. Do remember getting cursed though.

It was still sunny outside, so, after a shower, we headed back out again. Some really wacky Sallu bhai movie had just released and Rags being a die-hard fan had wanted to catch it early. I agreed, there wasn’t a better way of taking our mind off the Monday morning and its blues. Don’t remember much of the movie but 2.5 hours of Sallu bhai’s antics were enough to give us a pain in the stomach from laughing. Helped her forget any pain in the legs as well. She dined on her favourite cinema hall hot dog. I stuffed up on nachos. Got home just as the rain predicted for Monday made an early landing. And, just like that, it was over.

A perfect weekend. A ‘just another’ weekend.

So, there. Done with another post a day. And when you’re done pondering over all the grammatical errors in the post above, do read Rags’ quick take on her perfect Sunday. Typical Rags, I tell you – wants everything! :)


Continue reading “25/365: A perfect Sunday”

25/365: A perfect Sunday

Let’s get this winter going now..

Here’s the 2 things I so dearly await this winter:

1. A good snow. So, I can get the euphoria of first (London) snow behind me and start cursing it like in the past.
2. 20th December. So, the days can start getting longer again and I get a few more hours daily to plan (& scrap) rides.

Now, can we get these done quickly so I can get on with business.

Continue reading “Let’s get this winter going now..”

Let’s get this winter going now..

Cycle Encounters

Last weekend, I had still to open my account in cyclist encounters. 7 days later, I’m well on my way to being a veteran.

Incident 1: lady doesn’t see me coming So decides to drive her sedan across the road. Thankfully, she stopped just in time so my face just tasted asphalt, not the plastic of her front bumper. (More details posted earlier on twitter)

Incident 2: 3 tall lads casually stroll in from the park onto a cycle path, carved on a small road. They casually ignore the cyclists behind them. I, however, coming from opposite direction, move from bike path to road to avoid them. As I near them, one of them moves off bike path, into my way and politely says: ‘dude, that’s the bike path so ride there!’

Incident 3: I ride the bike across a shared biker-pedestrian traffic signal. At the other end, I cross the path of a middle aged, suited office goer. As I pedal ahead,forcing him to suspend a stride, out comes a volley towards my rear wheel: ‘fuck you asshole’.

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Cycle Encounters

A few good rides

It’s been a good week, this last one. Mainly because of the bike.

The bikes, along with rest of shipment, finally arrived last Friday. And after spending most of the weekend unpacking, sorting, storing & setting-up, we did have a short 7.5km ride around the neighbourhood on Sunday evening.

Followed that up with 5km of wandering on the cycle around the neighbourhood on Monday. Nothing special – a visit to Tesco, a stop at the coffee shop and another few chores conducted on the bike.

Met up with my uncle on Tuesday and got to walk a bit around the West End – SoHo area. Also used the opportunity to finally buy that D-lock, giving me confidence to venture farther.

Wednesday, headed up north for a trip to Halfords Super to check out more cycling accessories. Damages L75, purchased a full mud guards set for my bike, a small bottle of bike oil, a 2l water sleeve, back light for partner’s bike and a spare brake cable. The ride was a straight-forward 15km one but the small, though many, climbs and headwind did make it look a lot harder than it actually was. Highlight of the journey was carrying those big mud-guards in my bag with 2/3rd sticking out and to the side. Was quite a sight, I tell you :)

Thursday was turning out to be a quiet day till my uncle called again to meet up at Victoria. Met a potential business partner of his to understand the business model, his capabilities and the opportunity size. Interesting discussion and some learning for me on the gray areas of telecom business in UK ;) Thereafter, a walk through West End happened with a long introductory meeting thrown in. This one with another of my uncle’s acquaintances to ‘present’ me and for me to understand what they do. Another brisk walk and I was home. Walked about 5km at a brisk pace, felt good :)

Friday was turning out to be a slow & lazy day, so I decided to go check out the area around Victoria that had seemed quite lively the previous day. The result was an evenly split 20km ride – half through the densest traffic in this city and the other half through calm of Grosvenor Road, Milbank and Hyde Park. This was the ride that gave me that final confidence boost about riding in this city by taking me through the densest traffic areas and around the windy Thames banks. And, by giving me the first road scare ;)

Saturday, like always, was lazy with both of us sleeping through most of the day. Though we did ride out late in the evening to the high street for dinner. A nice breezy 5km ride on peaceful, empty roads. Partner’s decided that hereafter we shall cycle to&from at least one meal every weekend.

Made up for yesterday’s laziness by heading out today on a nice long (in terms of time) ride. It was again a mix of peaceful parks and heavy traffic roads – Hyde & Regents Parks versus Maida Vale/Edgware Road/Marble Arch/Oxford Street versus. A slow 17km ride with breaks for ice-cream in Hyde park and coffee & cake in Regents’ ;)

Now, 70km of cycling and 10+ km of walking in a week is something that use to count as good even in Bombay. Given that I don’t have any friends here to ride with (yet) and that I still haven’t figured out a Wednesday evening 50km circuit and that I’m still pretty much a noob in this city, I’ll say I did well this week :D

In other good news:

Smoking has been under good control recently. I’ve gone from finishing a 20-pack in 3-4 days during St. Paul’s days to not finishing a 10-pack in 2 weeks! *pats himself on the back*

Now the bad news:

The NHS doctor called. Says I’ve got a severely skewed cholesterol ratio (good:bad) and need to correct it urgently. Main action, she says, that I’ve to take is consume lesser animal products (including eggs & cheese :[ )and more vegetables. So, I’ve decided to make my lunch a veg affair (or as veg as I can make it). Unfortunately, despite spending good time searching through all fresh & frozen food shelves in Tesco Metro, didn’t find one veg product without cheese. Given that I’m not fond of cheese myself, I think it’s gonna be a hard search for that veg lunch :/

In continuing bad news:

Still no job. I’m desperate to work. For a short while, even without work. But I just wanna get my hands (brain?) dirty again. Pretty stressed up on that account but, kill me, am still not doing all that I should. Cycling, partner and uncle have kept me busy enough to not let the stress make me do something stupid.

Action plan for this week: apply, apply, apply. Try to network a bit. And, of course, keep cycling.

That’s it folks! Have a nice day :D

Continue reading “A few good rides”

A few good rides