In the spring of 2010 I lived and worked in London for three months. Family remained in Boston. My home for the first couple of weeks was a hotel in Kensington. Life in Kensington was nice, but it was expensive and in an effort to economize I moved to a hotel in Uxbridge. Besides being a lot less expensive, it reduced my commute from a tube and bus ride that sometimes took over an hour to a short walk. I didn’t have a car and I didn’t want one
The work was very hard. The program manager warned me before I took the assignment that it was the worst program he had ever seen. I knew him well and believed that what he said was true. I liked working on troubled programs and made the commitment. I worked six days a week and sometimes on Sunday morning. I’m not trying to inspire either awe or sympathy: that is just a fact of my life in London.
The work was fine, but I needed a way to decompress at least once a week. During a long walk in Uxbridge one day I discovered the Grand Union Canal and I began to make plans. The canal looked like a great place to bicycle.
There were no bicycle shops in Uxbridge. However, there was a Halfords store within a short walk from my room. Halfords is a chain that is similar to the Western Auto chain that we had in the States at one time. They carry automotive tools and parts; some lawn care and household maintenance items; and a large variety of inexpensive bicycles of all types. I found a well-made hybrid bicycle there and put down my 200 pounds one Saturday. They built it and I picked it up on Sunday morning. I drove it out of the parking lot and went for my first ride around Uxbridge.