Sunday, 27 November 2016

To Tatsfield village...

I really needed a ride. I hadn't been on the bike for a week and I was beginning to feel it. There hadn't been much in the way of walking either as I was miles too busy and what's more, I was in Stuttgart. Riding on Saturday, therefore, was out of the question. Andy had aborted and Phil hadn't sent me a text so I was glad for the rest; I got up around 0700hrs and made some tea.

While I could have taken a ride to mum's – I normally do when Andy aborts and Phil's either not going or riding with Steve – I decided to take things a little easier, but today (Sunday) I had to get out there, so I pulled on the balaclava (and all the usual items of scruffy cycling clothing) and headed for the garage.

It was good to get back on the bike. I was running a few minutes late and when I got to Warlingham Green, Andy was waiting.

We aimed for the Tatsfield village, the slow way, and after bearing left at the mini roundabout just past Sainsbury's, we wove our way around the narrow country lanes towards Hesiers Hill and Beddlestead Lane.
A right riveting read – Andy's books
It wasn't cold, but I was wearing the balaclava, purely for comfort. It was a bright day, there was no frost, nothing that would constitute 'bad weather', although the roads were damp and there were puddles here and there; clearly, it had been raining overnight.

As we progressed along Beddlestead Lane, I found that the old Rockhopper was doing a grand job. Earlier, I'd cranked it up to top gear and everything was smooth-running, all the way to Clarks Lane where we turned left and then left again into Approach Road where we spied a crashed mini cab that had clearly hit a tree and come to rest on a grass verge opposite – or had been moved there; I'm guessing the latter. Andy pointed to bits of radiator grill around the base of the tree trunk and we were both puzzled as to how the car had managed to hit the tree in the first place.

We pressed on towards the village and, as always, I was reminded of my accident (on 1st October). Needless to say, my approach was more considered and I glided slowly to a stop and parked my bike against the inner wall of the covered wooden bus stop. Out came the tea and biscuits and then Andy produced two excellent hard-backed books of his photography – his cycling photography. Needless to say I was impressed and we talked about how he had produced the books using the website Blurb. I'd like to do something similar for my blog, although it's so huge (almost 10 years of what amounts to a cycling diary and loads of other stuff too) it won't be cheap.

We rode off and headed home, passing the crashed minicab and then turning right on to Clarks Lane riding in the direction of Botley Hill. The 269 presented itself and soon we were back at Warlingham Green planning next weekend's ride.

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