Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Active life…

I’ve really enjoyed my last week very much. It involved many different physical activities that I truly enjoyed and I would like if possible to keep on trying stuff. I went swimming on Tuesday, scuba diving on Wednesday, to the gym with my personal trainer on Thursday and cycling on Saturday!

I’ve already registered to take the full course to become an open water diver with PADI. The difference with being a ‘PADI scuba diver’ is that I will be able to dive on my own (it will not happen soon I promise you) and be more serious about the whole things. The specialties provided vary and they all look very cool. How about learning to be a ‘fish identifier’, an ‘underwater photographer’ or a ‘wreck diver’?

Anyway (back to reality) we were discussing with ‘JJ’ of taking a trip somewhere around the UK to go cycling. That would include us taking the train from London to a nice destination, probably rent a bike there, cycle to a picturesque location around, spend the night in a bed and breakfast and come back the next day. The plan seems simple enough and interesting. The only (minor) problem is that I don’t have a bicycle of my own and the last time I really cycled was when I was 13 or 14. ‘JJ’ cycles back and forth to work all the time so he’s a very competent cyclist. However, I needed to do a ‘test drive’ before booking train tickets, accommodation etc. That’s what we did this Saturday.

The day before, on Friday, I went to ‘JJ’s place to take his housemate’s bicycle. He was kind enough to lend it to me for a day. Little did he know how inexperienced I was. The moment I started readjusting it and moving the saddle around I managed to break its rear mudguard! I was shocked and I felt awful about it but ‘JJ’ uncontrollably started laughing. I was quite upset but I learnt that they are not that expensive, easy to replace and easy to break. I’d just buy a new one before I gave it back…

I tried to put myself together and cycle back to my place (our journey would start from there the next day). It was quite an interesting ride through ‘Fulham Palace Road’ to Hammersmith. I was scared shitless of the traffic. I had buses next to me, stopped cars opening doors, junctions without traffic lights, people crossing and everything else happening around me at the same time. I also had to remain balanced (of course) on the bicycle the whole time…

I survived the experience though and the next day we took the morning train to Cambridge!

Our entire day there was brilliant. The weather with some sunny spells was perfect for us. We first cycled to Grantchester and Trumpington. In Grantchester there is a placed called ‘the Orchard Tea garden’. It was first established in 1897 and serves lunch, tea and scones in an amazing garden. With good weather this place is really nice, relaxing and worth visiting.

The Orchard Tea Garden (Very English)

After that, we cycled back to Cambridge. We passed through the center and followed the canal in a northern direction. I don’t know if this is the case each week but there were many rowers from different colleges that day. The colleges had allocated areas in Stourbridge Common where students sat to cheer for their teams and have bbqs and drinks. It was very busy but nice at the same time. After sitting there for while we had lunch in a really nice pub called ‘Fort St George’ by the canal before heading back to the station.

Punting on the canal

Watching the rowers while chilling under the sun

In general we cycled for 3 to 4 hours. With the breaks we took for tea, laying on the grass on the Common and enjoying lunch in the pub we spent our whole day in Cambridge. My knees and ass were very sore by the end of the day but I totally loved it. If I try this kind of day trips more often I’ll be ready for a whole weekend of cycling…


  1. Great story and great pics! My husband Greg and I rediscovered bike riding this Spring and now we're out constantly. You'll be hooked too!

  2. I missed my old school!

    million thanks for the picture!

    Enjoy ur weekend! which i am not!

  3. oh wow - looks like you are having an awesome time. We also started doing a lot more active things and loving it! Keep it up and thanks for the awesome pics.

  4. your ass was sore? was that before the cycling or after? (LOL-sorry). We went to the same place, and were accused of being the Brighton (something, I forget - but it was a comment meaning we were very gay, and on a day out)

    Made in Scotland: Punting On The Cam

    but, well done for cycling there!!!!


  5. @Cubby Thanks. Yes, I hope we keep on cycling more in different places...

    @Suf_n_Steve You're welcome. What's wrong with your weekend?

    @wozzel What have you been doing? Show us pictures! You're welcome...

    @@MadeInScotland That was after the cycling (I am trying to remain serious). What were you doing to be accused of being the 'Brighton'?

  6. Wow. Looks like you worked harder on your time off than you did during your actual work day. ;-)

  7. Looks grand. I had not rode a bike for over 20 years and tried a few years ago - it was hopeless.....instead I spin at the gym.

    It sounds like your having quite an active life - that's good!

  8. @Gauss_Jordan Isn't that always the case? I get more excited about out-of-work activities than work related activities...

    @SteveA I haven't tried a spinning in ages... I might give it a go now that you mention it...