London peloton

This is one of the things I love about London – setting off on my bike on a summer morning, a cloudless blue sky above and the tall plane trees resplendent in the sunshine, vivid green against the blue; the air almost fresh (for London), already a sense that the temperature is rising; catching a sweet scent from private gardens as I cycle towards Kensington (coming home, if the day’s turned close and overly warm, the aromas will verge on Venetian – stagnant water, blocked drains); time to think and reflect, the rhythm of cycling conducive to mulling things over – though not too deeply. Stay alert. At the traffic lights, cyclists bunch, itching to jump the red, to be first out of the blocks. It’s been heartening to see the increase in people cycling in London in recent years, but with my natural reticence, my innate mistrust of groups, I hang back, wait at the dag end of the peloton as the cyclists stream out, unknot, and I pick off the dawdlers one by one.

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