Today's photographs, courtesy of Andy, show just how bad the weather was out by the Tatsfield bus stop on the junction of Clark's Road and Approach Road. The handlebar shot was taken at the bus stop and you can just make out the beginning of White Lane on the other side of the road. The other shots were taken after Andy and I parted company just before the Botley Hill pub on the way back. Either way, they're good shots.
It started off as a fine rain, nothing to write home about, but as we edged our way towards the Tatsfield bus stop, the slow way, it turned to snow. Soon, the snow was on the ground, the roads were white and there was a lot of mist. As Andy quite rightly pointed out as we sat sipping tea and munching on our cereal bars, there's an element of fun about getting there, but the going back is not a laughing matter. How right he was.
By the time we embarked upon the return trip, the temperature had dropped considerably, our hands were starting to freeze and it all got a bit nasty. Andy went home on the quiet roads, I took the fast way back but decided it was too dangerous to be on the road. Instead, I risked the off-road track, praying that I wouldn't get a puncture. It was more luck than judgement that I found myself at Knight's Garden Centre with two fully inflated tyres. The rest of the journey was cold and wet and I was tempted to stop off at the Village Café on Warlingham Green, but managed to resist.
I was home by 10am where a hot cup of tea and a couple of hard-boiled eggs sorted me out nicely.
Jon, incidentally, braved the off-road hell of Epsom Downs where the snow was just as bad as it was for us. The puncture I fixed for him yesterday was obviously not the only one he had; the tyre was flat when he woke up this morning but it was a slow puncture.
It's been a good weekend of cycling and it now looks as if our default cycle will be to Merstham, and in particular the Hunger's End café – it's the best part of 28 to 30 miles and there's a welcoming mug of tea and a caff breakfast when we get there.