Sunday, 26 September 2010

The Tatsfield bus stop – twice!

The Tatsfield Bus Stop, September 25th 2010.
Having over-indulged on the ale on Friday night, it was touch and go as to whether I'd go cycling on Saturday morning. I woke up feeling fine (several pints, yes, but it was only 3.8 per cent abv) but there was a kind of weariness that led me to hang around and not go for an early morning jaunt. I called Jon but he was going to see Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion and couldn't make it. Alas, it was down to me to motivate myself. I'd figured on a shortish ride to Woodmansterne Green, but now it was looking like Botley Hill, but not yet, not so early.

Blue skies at the bus stop on Saturday (above) but cloud and drizzle on Sunday.
Eventually, I left the house around a quarter to nine and headed off with a mild headache, nothing the fresh air couldn't deal with; the sun was shining and while there was definitely an end of September bite to the air – and I considered gloves and a scarf, but made do with a V-necked jumper – the weather, generally was fine. It was only a little chilly cycling down hill or in the shade. In fact, once I was out and beyond that bus stop on the A269 that signifies the end of the first hilly part of the route, I was feeling fine. So fine, in fact, that I realised, foolishly perhaps, that I was in one of those moods that meant I could cycle for ever and a day. In fact, had I not been constrained by the mundanity of domesticity, I'd have probably just carried on, through Westerham, further east and God knows where I'd have ended up.

As NoVisibleLycra celebrates its first anniversary, the sign that
characterises the website is uprooted. This shot taken on Saturday 25th
I planned to cycle into Tatsfield Village but on reaching the famous bus stop, I spotted the road sign that features on the home page of this blog (just look up to the top of the page and you'll see it). It had been uprooted and was lying on its side on the grass. Was it hit by a lorry or a car or had somebody deliberately uprooted it? I would never know.

I sat and drank tea alone at the bus stop, flicking my teabags on to the grass in front of the bus stop in training for a game with Andy on Sunday (we always see who can flick their teabags the furthest).

I headed back home via Beddlestead Lane and Hesiers Hill, emerging at Warlingham Sainsbury's and then heading home for a morning of cleaning out the garage.

Cycling up Hesiers Hill, I began to wish I'd gone home the 'fast way', but, like all hills, it was a matter of getting my head down and getting on with it. Soon I was home, reading the Guardian and getting ready to tidy up the garage.

Sunday (today) Andy and I went to the Tatsfield Bus Stop. Why? Well, we were going to head into the village but it started to rain and we narrowly avoided a soaking, taking refuge at the bus stop where we drank tea, chatted about opening our own cycle shop and talked about this and that, although we didn't discuss Ed Miliband being appointed the new leader of the Labour Party or the Iranian president, Mr 'I'm a Dinner Jacket' having a go at the UN and blaming 9/11 on the Americans.

We cycled home the fast way, said goodbye at Warlingham Green and here I am, home and dry – we managed to avoid the rain and now it's looking a little brighter outside. I've got to make roast potatoes and cocktail sausages and I'd better get started!

Sunday, 12 September 2010


I would be foolish to say that walking a total of 20 miles, wearing a fairly heavy back pack (carrying a lap top and other stuff) was not behind the general feeling of tiredness that hit me square in the face on Friday evening. I'd been doing about five miles a day, since Tuesday, and then, on Saturday, I was up and out of the house early for a cycle. To be honest, I wasn't feeling up to it and was tempted, not to abort the ride, but to say something naff like, "Let's just go to the bus stop."

Andy contemplates life in the Old Forge Deli Café on Godstone Green
Instead, we cycled to Godstone where we paid a visit to the Old Forge Deli Café and, I think, got ripped off. If a cup of tea is 80p and a slice of toast 50p, then my bill for a cup of tea and two slices of toast should have been £1.80. Why, then, was I charged £2.30? In true British style, of course, I said nothing, but that was because I hadn't actually worked out the prices; I just knew that I had £2.50 in my pocket and that my order, surely, wouldn't cost the lot. It didn't: I got 20p change.

I then emptied my flask of water on Godstone Green and Andy and I cycled back home, dreading the hill that awaited us on the other side of the A25. It wasn't too bad, though.

Sunday just didn't happen. Andy wasn't going anyway, meaning that it was down to my own motivation to get up and go; but I couldn't muster up the energy. I got out of bed, I had a mug of tea around 7am and I reluctantly put on my cycling gear in readiness to head outside. Instead, though, I paced around, wondering whether to go or not. I considered ringing Jon, but thought I'd leave it, hoping that he'd call me – but he didn't; he was thinking the same way as I was and, besides, he'd been out already, on a three-mile run, in early training for the April 2011 Marathon. I was reminded of that great quote from "uncle" John, the neighbour next door but one back at mum and dad's. He used to say, "Animals only run if they have to." Never a truer word and all that! Still, each to their own. I just can't get on with running.

The Kona Scrap resting against a tree on Godstone Green
Anyway, that was it, I didn't go cycling on Sunday despite pacing the house, taking my shoes on and off – at one stage having one on and one off – and, well, it's just not good is it? On one side I wanted to go and hated that whole thing about not getting out in the air; but on the other side, I was whacked out and couldn't face it. In the end, general fatigue won the day and I lolled around all morning, inwardly pissed off for not getting my act together, but, in a way, my body was relieved that I hadn't set foot in the garage.

I'd love to go out there now and discover a puncture. That way I could say to myself, "Oh, well, I wouldn't have been able to go anyway!"

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Photograph of the Week

Warning! Ducks!
This sign is prominent as drivers and riders enter the village of Tatsfield.