Journeys into the past by bicycle

I have been having a wizzo time lately just heading out on my bike and going hither, thither and whither I will. It is the perfect part of London for bikesploring, as there are lots of green spaces and old footpaths and such as rivers and woods ekcetera.

Obviously the perfect bike trail should match the following criteria:

  1. NO CARS
  2. Not too hilly
  3. Opportunity for wizzo views
  4. Trees and flowers
  5. Birds
  6. Rivers and ponds
  7. Starts near my house
  8. Ends near a pub

I have found quite a few places like this, as a lot of the paths and bridleways that I walk around are also good for bikling. Yesterday I discovered a sekrit passage that goes up the back of the Vue cinema at the Finchley Leisureplex & Temple of Consumerism, over a recreation ground thing with some intresting birds, past the Glebe nature reserve, through a couple of sleepy back streets, and into the Coppetts Wood nature reserve where there are wizzo woods and a girl and I once took some pictures of old sewerage pipes and sat in a glade.

Today I was looking at Underground History an amazing trove of arcana about the London Underground which is great, except I read “Disused Stations on London’s Underground” as “Diseased Stations on London’s Underground”. I was jolly disappointed as I thought there might be rage-infected Tube stations like on 28 Days Later. There is a good bit though about the Northern Heights ie where I live, and the old steam train line from Alexandra Palace via Highgate to Finsbury Park. It was never electrified and eventually the track was taken up and the line abandoned. It’s now a super leafy footpath with deer and hedgehogs!

So I will be having an experdition there and also there was a line from Mill Hill East to Edgware which is now a path, and I bikled along that today. It was great! It is like a sekrit passage like in Narnia or one of those movies, except not a cupboard. It goes through some green and sun-dappled woods, along the back of some football pitches, past the sports centre and up to the main road where it stops abruptly. There was once a pedestrian subway but it is bricked up, and someone has sprayed ‘JESUS LOVES YOU’ in big letters on it. Cross the road, looking both left and right for oncoming traffic, and enter Rowlands Close, where the path sidles casually out through an undistinguished-looking brick alley and into a housing estate.

Then I took the other path back across Hendon Golf Course, through a copse full of flowers and butterflies, over an abandoned concrete lot that looks like a decommissioned nuclear bunker, up the back of the allotments and suddenly arrived at the A1! And so back up along the brook, past the children’s playground and through the little park where people sit and chat on the benches and look at birds.

Matt pointed out that I must be nearing the top Google results for ‘curry’, as we sat eating curry. I should get some kind of lifetime supply of curry, or something. Curry!

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