Ride 5, 2011 – West Hyde

Posted: February 28, 2011 in Cycling, Photos, Places, Weather
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Ride 5, 2011 - West Hyde

Haven’t posted here for some time now. The main alibi for this white noise is a mix of jaywalking heart (memories of family & home), jaywalking brain (anxiety from an interview) and an injured hand (photo and brief below). The other reason is the hurdle of where to begin. This post is an attempt to overcome that hurdle while still managing the other three. And since cycling is perhaps the only good thing I’ve been up to recently, I thought I’d post a brief one about that.

The temperature outside right now is 4°C (weather.com tells me it feels like 0°C) and it’s drizzling – regular winter weather. Last week, however, we saw a glimpse of spring. The weather was back in low teens with a fair bit of sunshine. I celebrated it with a ride to West Hyde, a small place just inside the M25, south of exit 17. I’ve been planning to attempt a ride from LDN to Oxford sometime early April and this ride was a sub-part of that planned route. Also at 32kms, a return ride was a comfortable distance that I knew I could comfortably complete.

West Hyde Ride - Grand Union Canal 1 West Hyde Ride - Grand Union Canal 2 West Hyde Ride - Grand Union Canal 3 West Hyde Ride - Grand Union Canal 4 West Hyde Ride - Grand Union Canal 5 West Hyde Ride - Grand Union Canal 6

The ride was marvellous. The first section, about 12km, was on the canal path of Grand Union canal. The path was not always paved nor was it ever so uneven that a road bike couldn’t take it. Away from any traffic and with just a few joggers and walkers for company, it was the perfect start (and end) to the ride.

The canal section was followed by another section through a hilly forest and then quiet, hilly, suburban roads. Then came the only section of the ride through regular city traffic as I passed through South Harrow and Ruislip.

West Hyde Ride - Harefield 1 West Hyde Ride - Harefield 2 West Hyde Ride - Harefield 3

The next section was wonderful with rolling countryside and, relatively, quiet roads. I did suffer on the climb into Harefield – not just because of the climb but also the headwind and my reluctance to go down to the big 1st gear.

West Hyde Ride - Kayaking at West Hyde 1 West Hyde Ride - Kayaking at West Hyde 2 West Hyde Ride - Kayaking at West Hyde 3 West Hyde Ride - Kayaking at West Hyde 4 West Hyde Ride - Kayaking at West Hyde 5 West Hyde Ride - Safe shoe storage at West Hyde

West Hyde was a blissful little village – two pubs, a canal with lots of people walking along it, couple of guys practising white water kayaking and plenty of wildlife in the two lakes. The evening sun only added to the magic of that place. It was also my turnaround point, though I had half a mind of cycling onwards to the town where my grand dad lived for 2 decades – High Wycomb. After all, from where I was, that town was closer than home and I could always take a bus back :)

West Hyde Ride - Historic Marker West Hyde Ride - MTB Route
West Hyde Ride - Coffee at Roma's Cafe on Elgin Av

No, I didn’t ride on. I turned around, climbed back to Harefield where I took a break for a sandwich lunch and then headed back home, stopping a km from home for coffee at my old favourite – Roma’s Cafe – as the sun set in distance behind the row of buildings on Elgin Av.

All in all, a great ride to celebrate a beautiful day. Loved it.


P.S.: About that hand. The absent mindedness that has been keeping me from blogging took its toll there too. Just a moment after I’d taken a sausage roll out of the oven, I picked up the hot plate with my bare hand badly blistering three fingers and bits of the palm and other two fingers. If you think that is stupid, here’s what I did next: I put my hand under cold, running water for about 5 mins (smart!) and then kept it in a mug of cold water for about 90 minutes while I researched online about which facility A&E/Minor Injuries/GP to go to (not so smart, right?). Here’s a pic of the hand right after I returned from the ride:

West Hyde Ride - My Injured hand

  1. ~j~ says:

    Just read this today. Hope your hand is alright now.

  2. Ms.N says:

    lovely trail… where is this?

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