Ride 8, 2011 – Uxbridge

Ride 8, 2011 - Uxbridge

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.

Continue reading “Ride 8, 2011 – Uxbridge”

Ride 8, 2011 – Uxbridge

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