Sunday, 27 September 2009

26 & 27 September 2009

Pictures show my Millets flask full of tea and our cereal bars (top). The other shot shows Andy, with his old bike (he now has a Kona Blast) and my Kona Scrap at Warlingham Green. These pictures were taken earlier in the year, hence the flowers!

We've been cycling for three years now, just over to be precise. It all started with a curry in Whyteleafe where Andy Smith, my co-cyclist, told me that he had started cycling. I told him I'd been doing it on and off for some time and that I'd started going out to Westerham early in the morning (to avoid traffic). We decided to do it together and from August 2006 to the present day, we've been getting up at the crack of dawn and cycling out to Westerham, Botley Hill Farm (the bus stop on the road down to Westerham), the lake at Chipstead in Kent, Knockholt, Redhill, Banstead Woods, Westerham Woods, Dunton Green, Chevening church, you name it. We love it.

This weekend we went out towards Woodmansterne Green and then down Park Road towards Banstead Woods, emerging on the A217 on Canon's Lane. We turned right, rode along the A217 and then turned left in to Waterhouse Lane, down through Chipstead, into Coulsdon and home. A good run of around 20 miles.

The weather was fairly good, warm, although a little cold when we set out. It's an odd time of year: it's starting to get cold but we're still wearing tee-shirts from the summer. Banstead Woods was good but there are signs saying 'no cycling' and a few runners passed comments as they jogged by. Irritating.

At Coulsdon, Andy and I go our own separate ways: he goes off towards Caterham, I travel down the A23 into Purley and then up the Purley Downs Road into Sanderstead.

On Sunday we decided to ride our traditional route from Warlingham Green to the bus stop just past the Botley Hill Farm pub. I say 'just past', you have to go towards the roundabout, hang a left as if you're going towards Westerham and then, about half a mile down, you'll see a wooden bus shelter.

There are two ways of getting here: first is the fast way along the main road, which can be busy; or the slow way through the poncy streets of Woldingham and then eventually hanging a left, going past Mohammad Al Fayed's gaff, up towards the Botley Roundabout and then down to the bus stop.

We sit and chew the fat when we reach our destination. Today's subject, the X Factor, but it varies and we often touch upon politics, pop music, you name it. As always we tuck into a cereal bar, courtesy of Andy, and a cup of tea, courtesy of yours truly's Millets flask and then we head back home. Today we took the slow route through Woldingham and came back along the main road to Warlingham Green and then Hamsey. We part at the Good Companions pub. I go down towards Sanderstead and Andy travels down Tithepit Shaw Lane, through Whyteleafe and then up the hill towards Caterham.

Weather was good on both Saturday and Sunday and neither of us had a puncture – I'll explain more about our punctures later.

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