It took us only an hour via Bushy Park to reach a halt at the information Centre in Bedfont Lakes Country Park. The wind was directly in the face while riding, and the path in the Park rather wet in places. We rounded the airport with jets thundering overhead on takeoff and on cue patchy light rain began as we turned east and the long straight roads to Harlington via Sipson and Cranford. I wonder how much longer this stretch will be rideable if airport expansion goes ahead, but right now a good speed can be maintained with the following wind.
We arrived at Osterley after a ride of just over two hours and in time for the cafe to open. Not surprisingly, the park was rather deserted as it was raining more heavily with a strengthening cross wind, and was still doing so when we left an hour later to ride back via Richmond and Richmond Park to the end of the ride by the A3 at New Malden. At times I began to wonder if riding in February was really worth it, wind and rain being the ultimate turnoff. Two days later I think it probably is, as you get a good workout and soon recover when warm and dry at home.
It was good to see Eddie riding again after a long absence, his bike and gear immaculate as usual, and thanks to Godfrey, Toni and John for being so resolutely cheerful. Total distance was 33 miles.
Here we are after lunch at Osterley in assorted rain gear.