Ride, Run & Read for leisure

I’ve had a full weekend, complete with everything good in life, and I needed that after a stressful period with a heavy study load, too many commitments and an unstable housing situation. It’s all changing now, thankfully. In a few weeks we’ll be packed and ready to leave London for a summer of riding and, eventually, a new home somewhere.

This weekend started with an outing to Karen at Zenith Motorcycles for a very needed chain adjustment. Although I live on the other side of the city now, compared to when I started going to Zenith, I prefer to go back there because they are so friendly and competent. We got the chains adjusted on both bikes and, since I had not been able to loosen the nut for the wheel myself, I told the mechanic that I wanted to look and see how he did it, so I knew for next time. Instead of just showing me, he kindly instructed me on how to do the chain on both bikes, and let me try myself as well. That is just the kind of service that makes Zenith special, not to metion that Karen scolded me for taking Christopher onto the North Circular and kindly suggested another route back. Christopher appreciated the sympathy and we negotiated another return route, which got Karen’s approval. That is customer care. In my defence though, I didn’t think there would be any traffic in the middle of the day… well now I know that there is always traffic on the NC.

Travel 50 k to get a magazine, yes of course, if it can be done on 2 wheels
Travel 50 km to get a magazine, yes of course, if it can be done on 2 wheels

So that was the start of a very good weekend and it just got better. Yesterday, I took Lazy Cat to Ryka’s Cafe, a famous biker cafe in the south of London. I fancied checking it out, besides I could pick up the latest magazine of Women on Wheels, which features my article about Australia. After lunch and a stroll I headed back and, again, was amazed how much traffic there is out and about in London – even on a Saturday. That, for sure, is one thing I won’t miss about London.

Lazy Cat and the local bikes
Lazy Cat and the local bikes

Finally back home, I had time for some reading, for leisure, which doesn’t happen that often these days. It is, of course, a great privilege to be a student and to study something interesting as literature and linguistics, however, it is not reading for leisure and my brain needed the relaxation. I could now finally read a book I brought with me last summer from Sweden, it is by Johan Ajvide Lindqvist, the author of Let the right one in and several other horror stories, one of my favourite authors. So after reading for a while about zombies I had plenty of energy for my run. I did my last 10k by the river and kept marathon pace, preparing me mentally for the marathon next Sunday. Feet felt light, legs felt strong and mind was clear. I believe I am ready, finally after weeks of tiredness everything has fallen into place. Leiden Marathon here I come!

The fundraising for Motorcycle Outreach has kickstarted again this last week as well. After some dry weeks several donations came in over a few days, both friends from the running club, family and other friends have showed their support. The running community is amazing like that, I always thought running was a solo sport and that was why I liked it. I have found out that I was entirely wrong. Today, we held our local race, Run Wembley. With ours, I mean Sudbury Court Running Club‘s. Despite being a member for just a short while, I have made such good friends and it will be one of the things I miss the most when leaving. So today we put on a fun run for kids, a 5k and a 10k. I was marshalling and it was my first experience marshalling a running event, only having marshalled at the MotoGP on Philip Island before. This was slightly less eventful but I did have to concentrate fully to determine the speeds of the runners and stop cars since I had traffic coming from 3 sides at my post. Time passed very quickly though, just 1 1/2 hours and then it was over and time for bar, band and burger at the club house where the afterparty continued well into the afternoon. If you fancy a friendly race and find yourself in London this time next year I would warmly recommend it. Plus, proceeds go to Saint Luke’s Hospice which supports terminally ill people so there is a great cause.

The runners of Run Wembley are taking off, photo courtesy: Victor Tsui
The runners of Run Wembley are taking off, photo courtesy: Victor Tsui

This pretty much wraps up my weekend, the best in a very long time. Tomorrow I need to take up my studies again, but this week will be a short one, on Friday we’ll be off to The Netherlands!

Last, but not least: have you ever seen a bike with fur before?
Last, but not least: have you ever seen a bike with fur before?

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I'm a passionate biker from Sweden. I love to travel, preferably on my motorcycle. Please let me know what you think of my blog! Post a comment or send an e-mail: asa@forza.greynorth.net