Well as I have given my bike its Spring Cleaning I thought I should probably get it dirty again. If there is one thing that engenders deep suspicion in the cycling fraternity it is a nice clean shiny bike. It is a bit like those people that have a really expensive bike hanging on the wall of their immaculate designer flat, and you know in your heart that they never take it down, or indeed dream of soiling their crisp, dazzlingly white yachting trousers.

I went on a big adventure down the Dollis Brook where there is all sorts of birds, trees, and especially MUD. This is Hendon Lane Weir where the Dollis flows underneath the Great North Way and you can bikle through a sinister dark passage into a mystical land of wonder, populated by unicorns. (I did not see any of these in fact, so the guide book may be out of date.)

Some super Canada geese that I saw. It is grainy cameraphone photos sorry, as I did not bring the real camera and I do not have magic computer eyes like the Terminator. This is a shame in several respects.

This is a pond near Bell Lane with wizzo coots and moorhens ekcetera, the brilliant thing about this is that you can enjoy the peaceful idyll of the lake ruffled only by gentle zephyrs (good writing) while a few feet away, hundreds of cars and lorries thunder past along the North Circular completely unaware that any of this is here. In a way I suppose that is why it has not been built all over.

The most curious things end up stuck in a weir! This is a shopping trolley if you cannot tell. Obviously someone was walking home with their weekly shop and was just overcome with fatalistic or existential thoughts and realised, what is the point of it all basically? So they chucked the trolley in the river and went home. I feel like that some days.

I do not know what this is, but have decided it is a sinister witch’s cottage. There are a few clues which give it away to a trained eye, eg traces of gingerbread, but the main one is probably the sinister witch (not pictured).

The river path goes down about as far as where the A502 Brent St crosses over the North Circular, and from there you can bikle along the pavement as far as the dystopian concrete lacework of the Brent Cross Flyover. There our journey must end as it is the gateway to Brent Cross itself where only horror, madness, and surprising winter bargains await.

High above the North Circular itself at the Brent St junction. I was on the pedestrian footbridge in fact although it would be great if I had a magical flying bicycle like E.T. For one thing it would represent a considerable saving on tyre wear, and possibly get me closer to Drew Barrymore.

Your intrepid correspondent. On the way back I took an intresting detour via the River Brent up to Henleys Corner and the muddiest path I have ever found! It was flooded out in some places and the surrounding grass was heavily waterlogged; at several points I was pedalling super slowly in bottom gear and the back wheel was still sliding and sliding. It is a good job I was wearing my nice new Caterpillar boots (do not laugh it is obvious they are not made out of caterpillars; that would create more problems than it solved) as I had to get off and push the bike through lakes of mud occasionally. When I got back there was no question of even bringing the bike indoors; I had to get a bucket of soapy water and wash it down outside for fear of basically redecorating my flat in mud.

I had a super day out though!

They're happy because they eat mud

I went out bikling today! Because it is super weather. I have put on lots of weight over Xmas due to sossidges, and other nice foods, so I really need some proper exercise, and up till now it has been rainy and horrid. Today it was lovely and sunny though so I felt brave, brushed all the cobwebs and skellingtons off my bicycle, pumped up the tyres, and zoomed off to Coppetts Wood the nature reserve.

It was wizzo fun! Cycling is the second most enjoyable way to elevate your heart rate, and certainly the muddiest. I discovered various ponds, sekrit paths, and some leafy glades ekcetera, and I noticed some birds! It turns out I am not even as unfit as I thought although I did go into VF a couple of times. Luckily I saw on Blue Peter how to make a portable defibrillator out of two sink plungers, some sticky-backed plastic and a 9 volt battery (get a grown up to help you with this).

It is great as getting started is the hardest bit of anything, and I have dreaded getting started bikling again. Now I will be able to lose lots of pounds and look all lean and toned like Daniel Craig and fit into my super new clothes!

I am just relaxing with a freshly squeezed orange and mango juice drink, and then I am going to go and hose a substantial amount of nature reserve off my bike.

Parkland Walk III: Revenge of the Sith

It’s Finsbury Park! This is where the Parkland Walk comes to an end sadly but it is a beautiful park and ideal for zooming round on your bike.

It is illegal to visit Finsbury Park without popping in to see London’s only purpose-built computerised 24-hour cycle parking facility. It is just at the back of the railway station and you get a little swipe-card which enables you to park and retrieve your bike there any time of day or night for the magnificent sum of 50p. It is great really as if you have ever paid to park your car in London you will know it’s blooming expensive.

I was shown all around and how to work it by Niroj, London’s most helpful parking attendant. He said a lot of people have figured out that it pays them to cycle into Finsbury Park, lock the bike up here and then get the tube the last bit into work as 50p for parking is a lot less than the extra zones would cost on a Travelcard. I quite like that idea except I have dispensed with the Tube stage altogether as luckily I live really near work!

So having registered at the cycle park and got my swipe-card (I do not really need to park my bike there at the moment, but it is handy to know I could, and also I think any sort of cycling facilities should be encouraged!) this is me relaxing with a refreshing pint at the Landseer pub with Matt. Cheers!

So in conclusion then, a wizzo day out bikesploring and roaming the byways of green and leafy secret London. Here is a picture of my leg to celebrate! :D