If you could choose to ride your bike anywhere in the world, suburbia would not top the list. It probably wouldn’t even make the list. Typical then that my 1st blogged ride trundled through Kingston-Upon-Thames, Thames Ditton and inevitably Surbiton. Ironic even, when last week I was cycling in the French Alps. That’s cycling. We’re always chasing the perfect ride but happy to take what we can get.
Besides, last week the idea for a blog hadn’t materialised. It was still locked deep in my subconscious. Besides I couldn’t think. Subconsciously or otherwise. I was too busy sucking in every last molecule of oxygen from the thinning mountain air, too in awe of the awesome mountains, just too damn scared to think as I plummeted back to the valley floor on ragged roads beaten up by the brute winter.
I’m doing suburbia a disservice. Start in Richmond Park, cut along the River Thames at Ham, speed past Sandown Park, past Hampton Court Palace, through Bushey Park and up Richmond Hill – wondering as always which town house is Mick Jagger’s, slowing for the famous view from Richmond Hill (the only view in England to be protected by an Act of Parliament, a view that inspired the works of Wordsworth and Turner amongst others). Not bad for suburbia.
I had to enjoy all of this on my own as I’d broken the Golden Rule of our cycle club: never leave anyone behind. (Again). My ride buddy had suffered 3 punctures and we’d agreed to part by mutual consent as he resorted to tracking down a taxi that would take a bike as well as a sweaty man dressed in Lycra at 8am on a Sunday morning.
When is it OK to leave someone? When you’ve been together for too long? When you just fancy a change? The United Kingdom joined the European Union on 1st January 1973, over 30 years ago. It’s been a difficult union, a dysfunctional marriage marred by petty spats. I think there’s a very real chance that the UK will vote to leave not because the Get Britain Out camp presents a compelling argument for exit but because we’ve been in the EU for a long time and we all just fancy a change. Which is a lot less reason to leave someone than 3 punctures.