Sunday, 14 March 2021

Terror when delivering sold items on my Orange Brompton!!

Over the years and more recently I have acquired more than my fair share of Brompton bags that sit cleverly on the front carrier block. Many of these have been gathering dust so I decided to put them up for sale and Friday and Saturday I delivered them to their new owners. 

The first was to the 'Mile Monster' that is Jenny. Our  meet up point was Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner at 19:30, which in the past had been the traditional start point for the night rides to the coast. 

My journey started and ended at my front door and I would eventually clock up 32 miles. The actual distance if I had of been lazy was vastly shorter but I felt like putting in a few miles so took the scenic route. Part of this scenic route I wished I had avoided!

As far as the weather was concerned it was changeable. There was a light pitting of rain, gentle breezes and then almighty bouts of much stronger stuff. As I cycled towards Hyde Park Corner my mind started to play tricks on me and I had to check myself to stop thinking about nocturnal adventures to the coast. 

One part of my journey took me on the Grand Union Canal not far from the Paddington Basin - I think? I do not really like cycling along canal towpaths in the day let along at night and as I type this I cannot offer an explanation as to why I decided to do it?

One section was dark and quiet to the extent that the noise from traffic, birds chirping and the sounds coming from buildings. Added to this the section of towpath was less than a metre across. This all conspired to make things quite terrifying and as such I hated every pedal turn of my beloved Titanium Orange Brompton! Things got even worse however. 

Trying out a new front light that is pretty good
What I saw with my own eyes
How the wonderful iPhone sees it

In the distance in the bend of canal towpath I saw an old chap throwing food down for what I assumed were ducks, swans or some other bird that people who do this sort of thing like to feed. To my complete horror it was none of these and was in fact rats! There must have been 10 at least all scurrying around him. I am ashamed to that the air was filled with several expletives as I negotiated this lunatic! Vowing never go on a canal towpaths again I was able to escape.

I arrived at Hyde park Corner in good time and Jenny and I chewed the fat for a while, catching up on Brompton gossip and telling each other about our respective plans for future rides. After about half and hour we said our good byes and headed off on our separate ways. 

My journey home was less eventful and I took in the sights of central London, still quiet for a Friday night.

The next day I was off out again with another bag I had sold, this time to Kew Gardens. Thankfully no canal towpaths were involved. I did cycle along a body of water but it was the rover Thames and the only feeding I saw was off ducks! Phew.

I met fellow Bromptonian, Richard at the Victoria Gate entrance of Kew and after chewing the fat for a while we made our exits. 

This journey allowed me to clock up 22 miles. I would have taken a more scenic route back but the rain started falling and I didn't want my newest Brompton to get too wet!!

Lockdown is still very much here at the moment and London is still rather quiet compared to what it should be. I certainly hope that things get back to something approaching normality sooner rather than later.

Stay safe out there people!

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