I think the phrase 'variety is the spice of life' is key in cycling, and now that we have a new default cycle route (to Merstham in Surrey) we've kind of moved on from Woodmansterne Green, which is now there as a quick route should we not have time for anything else. Having said that, of course, if we keep going to Merstham for breakfast at the Hunger's End cafe, then it's soon going to become boring and we'll start yearning for new destinations. The key, then, is variety.
Okay, on to this weekend. Saturday was a full house: Andy, Jon and yours truly; and we all headed off for Merstham and Hunger's End where Andy had a cream bun, I had scrambled eggs on toast and Jon had a smaller version of the Full English he had last week. We all had mugs of tea and I had two and then headed back home – Andy along the A23 and Jon and I through the quiet lanes that weave their way under the M25 and back towards Chipstead and Banstead.
The Merstham run is good because it's fairly long. All told, the trip covers 30 miles or thereabouts, so it's equivalent in work-out terms to our Chevening Lake route. Merstham is okay; a little eccentric, what with the shaving man, who is there EVERY Saturday. Apparently he likes watching Merstham FC, the local team. The women who run the caff all smoke, which is not good, but they're a friendly bunch and they can rustle up a decent breakfast. That, of course, is the great thing about cycling to Merstham. It's a long way and there's a nasty hill (from the bottom to the top of Hazlewood Lane) but that makes the notion of a big breakfast even more exciting. The problem is getting back off our arses, on the bikes and home again. To be honest, I could sit there all day drinking tea, watching the shaving man and chewing the fat with Andy and Jon. Still, you can't everything.
I was out late on Saturday night and didn't turn in until 1am in the morning so the prospect of a Sunday cycle was not good. Having said that, I did wake up around 0630 and wasn't feeling that tired, but I stuck with my abort message sent to Andy very early on Sunday morning. He didn't go cycling, but Jon called me from Woodmansterne Green. I felt a little envious as I stood in the conservatory chatting on the mobile as the sun shone brightly outside. And here I am now, Sunday morning, just gone 1030, the sun is shining and I'm still in my dressing gown, wishing I'd gone out in the fresh air. My only consolation? That Andy was still in bed when I called him, about 30 minutes ago, to see if he'd gone out.
Now I feel tainted by not having gone out, but that's the way of the world and I shouldn't beat myself up over it.