Digging the bikes out seemed to be the best way of recovering from the previous day's activity. A gentle bike ride along the towpath in glorious spring weather. And an opportunity to tune my head into bike mode so that I can be biking to work now that the warmer weather is here.
We weren't alone with the idea pootling along the river; a myriad of joggers practicing for the marathon, ramblers and families on bikes were out in force. The river too seemed clogged with canoes and crews training for boat races. (Did we see the hopeful blues and varsity crews training against the tide?)
We passed a woman dragging a car tire. Pulling up level I asked, "North or south?" To which she replied - north. Good luck I said and peddled off remembering fellow climbing club member Catherine Hartley's training for the South Pole back in 1999.
Dropping on to Chiswick Mall the tide was at it's lowest I'd seen it for some time, it was low enough allow crossing to the tiny island without getting your feet wet. And several had taken advantage of making the crossing.
We stopped at the Old Ship for a glass of wine. We were in no hurry, the sun was shining and life was good.
We crossed over Hammersmith Bridge for the return leg along the south bank of the river. We cycled passed the woman single-mindedly dragging her tire. We wove in and out of the traffic crunching along as we went. At the water's edge herons, gulls and cormorants stood in waiting for food to drift by.
Approaching the lock my front tire started soften, the piece of 'leaf' that I'd watch spin round the last mile or so looked deeply suspect. Plucking at it the tire let out a sigh of relief from being impaled. No matter, home was just over the river.