22 June 2010

Big Days Out: My 1st Cycle Saturday

I went on a “Cycle-Date” from East London to Richmond with the Boy and our friend Tyla on Saturday. I was pretty excited about this, as it would be my 1st ‘real’ riding experience in London (and beyond) on Frankie - something that was long overdue! The date-plan: meet Tyla at Richmond Station & then cycle along the River to Hampton Court Palace. The weather was kind enough to hold back on the rain that we’ve been having in London this week (huzzah!) - allowing me to wear my planned cycle-chic for the day :) I raided my wardrobe and put this together:

This was my 1st time cycling in Shorts... “short” ones at that too, so I was concerned that it might not work. It was in fact a great outfit to ride in - comfortable & no wardrobe malfunctions with the pants riding up too high... and no snagged tights either - result! 

Headscarf: Dorothy Perkins
Jacket: Gap
'Tache Necklace: Tatty Devine
Earrings & Bracelets: Topshop
T-Shirt - Tee & Cake at Topshop
Belt: Oasis
Shorts: Gap
Tights: M&S
Winklepicker Shoes: Topshop

We set off early so we could have a breakfast-stop along the way... Borough Market was the order of the morning, as it was en-route to Waterloo Station. I’ve seen people cycling into the Market early on a Saturday morning, park-up, grab a bite & just sit and enjoy the atmosphere of the place and now I can totally understand why :) 
Breakfast had, we cycled to Waterloo Station, which presented another new experience for me and Frankie: manoeuvring a bike through a train station! The Boy has done this many times when he comes from Portsmouth with his, but a Pashley is a different matter. She’s not exactly a small bike and Waterloo is a manic station - add to that people heading to Royal Ascot, it was busy! Managed not to get stressed at this (or run over any Ascot toes) and nabbed the space on the carriage for us to store our wheels:

We met up with Tyla at Richmond Station and started our cycle to Hampton Court. Richmond is a really pretty stretch along the Thames - but I didn’t realise how gorgeous it actually is until cycling though there. Other than the beautiful houses along the riverside (I want one!) and the nature/flora, there were cows. Yes COWS!

... and this little one came over to me to say hello & get a pat on the head! Hey - I’m a City Girl, so seeing Cows roaming around like that isn’t something that happens every day :)

Continuing along the river at a lovely pace, we ventured back onto the roads and arrived at our destination of Hampton Court Palace. I have to say - the bike-parking facilities there are very impressive as they are located next to the reception, with a constant guard watching them! This put me at ease, as this was the 1st time I’d left Frankie locked in public, so I was a little apprehensive about that. 

We spent a few hours checking out the Royal Gardens and getting lost like children in the Maze - fantastic fun indeed!

A summer cycling date would not be complete without a nice lunch / dinner to round it off. On the recommendation of a local, we headed to a rather nice pub, for an epic pub lunch! The amount of cycling we did for the day totally justified the portions of food we ate - and it would all be burned off on the journey back to East London, right?

It was a fantastic day and further reminded me of why I wanted to get into cycling so much. I encountered so many happy cyclists and pedestrians enjoying the day - all very friendly and happy to stop and chat. That’s exactly what it’s all about - getting out on your wheels, and being happy. It certainly provided a boost to my confidence on the roads around London too. I’ve never cycled that much around London before & realise that I do have it in me. Of course, that doesn’t mean I’ll be doing anything crazy on the roads, but I’ll certainly be doing stuff like this more often.

More pictures can be viewed here on Flickr.



    Unknown said...

    So happy that you had such a wonderful cycling experience...
    Cycling in shorts is awesome...less on the sweaty knees front. Cycling in dresses and skirts is also fun...and actually really comfortable (much more so than trousers)..

    I love Borough Market...must remember to go down and get some fresh ground coffee next time I'm there...

    Ah and cycling along the river...so beautiful. I really recommend cycling the river through Chiswick and Hammersmith too...so beautiful and so many places to stop off at to eat/have a drink.

    Fingers crossed the rain holds off this week. :)

    jane said...

    Looks like a perfect saturday - and i love your outfit! Shorts + tights is a great thing to wear for cycling , i totally agree. And that whole part of London is great for cycling in - I also love Richmond park, the deer are especially lovely to see!

    Laylah Amatullah said...

    I love this blog!!! I feel like we have so many things in common, bikes, photography (I also have a D80) and just enjoying life. I just requested you on Twitter, I'm lovefullness.

    Let's stay in touch!

    Dottie said...

    Looks like a beautiful trip! Cows! This weekend I took a train/bike trip out of the city, too. Wonderful to get out every now and then.

    Lady Vélo said...

    @TWT: It really was a fantastic day! I was concerned that cycling in shorts like those may not have been a good idea, but it was fine - I can't wait to break out the dresses and playsuits to cycle in :)

    Borough Market is beautiful - I love that place so much and happily spend most of a Saturday there with The Boy. Monmouth Coffee ALWAYS gets a visit from us when we are there...

    I'll certainly do that cycle route again, and more river cycling :)

    @jane: Thank you kindly! I was rather pleased with that outfit :) I didn't get to see any Deer on my cycle, but I saw a few Hares hopping around! The Cows really made me smile!

    @Laylah: Thank you for reading & commenting on my blog! Always nice to know that it's touched a chord with someone!

    @Dottie: It was - the Cows were soooo cute! It is so nice to get out and cycle and see more of London and beyond... I must to this more :)

    Michael said...

    Enjoy your blog, and since I have in-laws in London, who also cycle, it's especially relevant. I may have to turn them on to your perspective and site. Slaite.

    Lady Vélo said...

    @ Michael: Hi :) Thank you for your kind words and reading my blog - I hope you're in-laws enjoy cycling in London, and perhaps reading here too :)

    anna said...

    Wow, sounds like an amazing day! The Royal Gardens look so beautiful. The trees really have funny shape.

    Lady Vélo said...

    @ Anna - Hi! Thank you for coming to my blog :) It was a lovely day - the gardens looked amazing... and yes, the trees are a funny shape indeed!

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