This, above all, is why I cycle

The ladies' pond on Hampstead Heath

The ladies’ pond on Hampstead Heath

Ripples on the surface of the murky brown water reflect a kaleidoscope of colours – blue, from the almost cloudless sky above; green, from the leafy trees, bushes and rushes enveloping the pond; brilliant white where the sunlight catches on the water’s surface, and the occasional flash of red from the lifeguards’ bright shorts and shirts.

A gaggle of geese glide gently by, seemingly oblivious to the swimmers bobbing and splashing around them.

From the platform at the water’s edge I take a tentative step down the ladder, then two. As my toes touch the water, I let out an involuntary yelp. It’s cold. I pause for barely a second, gathering up my resolve, then launch myself in. Cold is, after all, why I’m here. Continue reading

The grass is always greener…

Thunderstorms are on their way, but do I really want one?

Thunderstorms are on their way, but do I really want one?

The air is thick and heavy as I ride home. It’s an effort to cycle in this heat: the harder I pedal, the slower it seems like I’m going. I can feel sweat beginning to pool on my chin, upper lip, forehead, and trickles of it down my back and behind my knees. The tops of my thighs – barely covered by my rather short shorts – are sticking painfully to my saddle.

Not for the first time over the past couple of weeks, I find myself thinking how wonderful a bit of rain would be right now. Maybe even a thunderstorm. Continue reading