This is how you can tell you've become addicted to riding in Richmond Park

When your lap PR starts to become an obsession

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1. Every ride is a time trial

Jerone Walters Richmond Park TT

Jerone Walters in a legitimate Richmond Park TT

Even when you say you're going to take it easy...

2. Your clockwise and anti-clockwise Strava times define you

Strava

This is a picture to exemplify someone checking their times

"I just clocked a 17-50, and that was with a headwind on Sawyer's as well."

3. You start analysing the wind speeds

Wind-Richmond-Park

Our best guess is that he's contemplating a tailwind up Broomfield Hill

Because that 6mph south-westerly breeze is the optimum for a fast RP lap.

4. You begin to use slang terms for the various gates

Roehampton gate

Roe gate. Classic meeting point.

"Where we meeting? Roe, Ham or Charlie Sheen?"

5. You've got specific Richmond Park kit

aero

Ride in style. It's the least you can do for a few laps.
(Image credit: chris catchpole)

There's no such thing as too aero for Richmond Park.

6. Your phone is full of pictures of deer

Jack's deer

Photo credit: Jack Elton-Walters (which he's definitely pleased about)

They're not your pets. But they might start to feel like it.

7. You start measuring distance in units of RP

bonk

Even a free Boost bar can't help him figure out how many RPs he's just ridden
(Image credit: chris catchpole)

When your friend asks if you want to go on a 90km ride to Brighton and you start calculating how many laps of RP that is.

8. Even your other rides start going via the park

RIchmond Park

Another stock photo of Richmond Park

The park is a great place to go for a weekday spin after work, or even if you're pushed for time on the weekend. But when your London-Brighton and Box Hill routes start going via a couple of laps of the park, you know you might be a next level fan.

9. Dark Hill/Broomfield Hill is your Alpe d'Huez

dark,huez

Chris Froome himself would struggle (Google Maps/Watson)

One in the same.

10. You feel like you've joined London Dynamo/Kingston Wheelers/Dulwich Paragon

dynamo-park

The Dynamo peloton ready for a cruise

Room for one more lads?

11. Your friends hassle you about lap times

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You don't need to smash the descents, or even need correct spelling to get a fast time round there.

How much faster is an aero bike?

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Follow on Twitter: @richwindy


Richard is digital editor of Cycling Weekly. Joining the team in 2013, Richard became editor of the website in 2014 and coordinates site content and strategy, leading the news team in coverage of the world's biggest races and working with the tech editor to deliver comprehensive buying guides, reviews, and the latest product news.


An occasional racer, Richard spends most of his time preparing for long-distance touring rides these days, or getting out to the Surrey Hills on the weekend on his Specialized Tarmac SL6 (with an obligatory pub stop of course).