Sunday, 8 November 2009

November 8th: Croydon to Box Hill

Jon had been saying how Box Hill was 'just up the road', probably no further away than Redhill from Woodmansterne Green and that we should go there. In fact, yesterday, while at the green he said 'let's do it tomorrow'. No sweat, thought I, no sweat. Let's do it.

The weather wasn't as good as yesterday. It had been raining all night by the looks of things and judging by the overcast skies it looked as if the rain was about to pour down. Fortunately, it didn't, but it was wet and when you haven't got any mudguards you can get a very wet arse.

Met Andy at Purley in the usual place and off we went, still not 100 per cent sure we were going to ride to Box Hill. Better phone Jon to check he's going first: no answer, just the ansaphone and that was the way it stayed until we were almost back home: no answer and no reply. Jon's excuse? "A bit of a headache." Fair enough, but we did it and it was much further away than Redhill.

But what a great run it was; hard work in parts, but not too bad and the reward when we got there was almost too good to be true. Not only some excellent views over Surrey, but an excellent café too. Well, not a cafe, more of a servery, but take a look at those cakes! They were the best. Because the flask had failed us last week, we had to rely upon tea from the servery. Andy ordered a coffee (that's a Lycra wearer's drink, Andy!) and we had some cake too. I tucked in to a slab of coffee and walnut and Andy went for a piece of chocolate cake.

There were some pretty serious cyclists there too, riding mainly Specialized top-of-the-range mountain bikes, although one had a Claud Butler and another had a Mongoose. They were covered from head to toe in mud – and they're bikes had mudguards! These were, of course, serious off-roaders, but they were suitably impressed by our Spongy Wonder saddles and wondered where the hell they could get one in the UK. You can't, we said, only in Canada, via mail order. Nice to impress the professionals!

Cake eaten, tea drank and quick dump thrown in for good measure and we were back on the road again. This was easily our longest ever Sunday morning cycle, apart from when we get involved in the Black Horse sponsored cycle every May. I didn't get home until 11.30am! We'd cycled between 35 and 40 miles but it was worth it just for the tea and cake.

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