|Summer had arrived early...|
|Vintage BSA motorcycle...|
He asked us about our ride and we told him we started in Croydon and that it was a 22-mile round trip. We said we'd be riding home soon because we had stuff to do, giving the man a chance to moan about women. "They always want you doing something," he said, adding that it was not a problem he suffered from, which we took to mean he was a single man, probably a divorced man, I thought, but he was a nice enough bloke, somebody that might be described (by a woman) as a lovable rogue, perhaps, a bit of a cheeky chappy.
In truth he delayed us for about 20 minutes from sitting down and drinking our tea, which was waiting in my rucksack – the flask of hot water, the milk and the teabags – and Andy had our biscuits in his along with a few innertubes. Eventually he hopped on the bike, kick-started it a couple of times and then rolled off along the A25 towards Brasted. He was heading first for Eynsford and then on to Brands Hatch before riding back to Brockley where, no doubt, he would leave the bike and head for the pub.
We sat on the green, watching various classic cars and motorcycles rumble past and eventually we packed up, jumped on the bikes and headed up the hill towards Botley. Andy said goodbye at the Ridge because we were running late so I rode the 269 alone and didn't stop when I reached Warlingham Green. I reached home at gone 1030hrs.