Yesterday we were lucky enough to be blessed with fabulous weather (rare on a Bank Holiday weekend!) so we decided to make the most of it and get out on the bikes for our first proper ride. The park itself is about 3.5 miles away and while Trev has been once, I've never gone. Roundhay Park totals over 700 acres and is apparently one of the biggest parks in Europe!
We decided to go via the bike shop as Trev needed the seat post tweaking on his bike as it was slipping a bit during riding (fixed, yay!) and we've not been able to remove one of the fitment screws that have to come out in order to fit the front carrier block. My block has been fitted fine (more in a later post) and we got one of Trev's screws out, but the second is an odd size and won't be moved. The guys in the shop had no luck either, so Trev will take it in for the mechanic later in the week.
Anyway! The bike shop is only about half way to the park and the rest of the way didn't have any particularly cycle-friendly paths. With this in mind I'm pleased to say that we attempted our first bit of proper on-road cycling and got to the park both in good time and all in one piece.
It really was a beautifully sunny day and the park was filled with people, a few of whom gave us odd looks when we started to take pictures like this:
Seems Roundhay Park is filled with bandstands!
We stopped in front of a building called The Mansion which is now a restaurant, but has lovely views over the park. Imagine this being the view from your front room, as it would have been for somebody!
The Mansion itself has some pretty good pillars going on… Shortly before taking this particular picture, my bike fell over! I'm pleased to report no discernible damage other than some scuffing on the foam of the handlebar grips. Given that I'm planning to replace them anyway, no real harm done.
We cycled around the park for a bit – I got chased by a crazed Westie who seemed to have some sort of deep-seated hatred of bicycles and went MENTAL. We stopped for a break by the largest lake in the park, called Waterloo Lake, which had a number of rowers and canoeists out on it. Made for a nice view – and you can see out towards Leeds city in the distance.
We cycled around a bit more but then due to the sheer volume of people, narrow width of the paths and gradient of the hills, we walked our bikes back up to the Roundhay Fox for a slap up roast dinner.
There is something remarkably lovely about the ability to cycle up to somewhere, fold your bike, take it inside, eat, leave, unfold and go again. Which is exactly what we did! Other than walking up to the top of the hill by the park, and walking across a couple of super busy junctions we didn't feel like attempting, we then cycled the whole way home! Proved fun as we live in a valley, so the vast majority of the journey involved no pedalling and just hurtling down hills at high speed.
All in all a good day! More road confidence gained too, which bodes well for my upcoming commute. In total we probably cycled around nine miles – so for our next few rides we're looking for rides between 10-13 miles so we can build up to longer return trips to places like Saltaire and Harewood House – which had been on the agenda for this weekend but in retrospect would probably have been a little ambitious. Hopefully soon 🙂
I hope everyone else had a great Easter weekend!