Sunday, 7 August 2011

Local ale, local wildlife and vintage cars...

Three cycles, three days and each ride involved a longer ride than the one before. We started on Friday 5 August with a short one to Botley Hill, where we sat outside of the Botley Hill Farmhouse pub and enjoyed a pint of Progress bitter. It's a pleasant place, particularly on a sunny day, and is known for its live entertainment – mainly consisting of tribute acts. In other words, if you want to see Elvis or Freddie Mercury, go to the Botley Hill, but if you're cycling, just have the one pint. Andy and I considered two, but remembered how we overdid it a little at Longford Lake in May. Andy reminded me that he cycled into a hedge on the return journey and was badly sunburnt too.
Matt and Andy, Botley Hill Farmhouse, Friday August 5th – and that's not
Greene King beer in those glasses, it's Progress, from a microbrewer.
Having spent the night round at mum's on Friday, I awoke early on Saturday morning and drove the six-mile journey back home to prepare for Saturday's ride. The plan was to meet at 7am on the green, but there was no way that I'd make it so I sent Andy a text and we met at the usual time. We headed down to the Tatsfield Churchyard and had some company in the shape of a rather tame rabbit.

This rather tame rabbit joined us at the Tatsfield Churchyard.
On Sunday, the plan was to visit Westerham. We resolved to get our heads down on the outward cycle, get there as soon as possible and then return home at a decent hour, not that Westerham has ever been a long ride – it's 22 miles in total. The problem was me: I was late. I arrived at the Green at 0740hrs and by the time we'd had our usual chat about where to go, it was edging towards 0850. Normally under such circumstances, it would be the bus stop or the churchyard, or even Botley Hill, but we decided to get our heads down, not chat and just cycle all the way with the determination of, well, Lycra monkeys.

I can't remember what time we got there, but it was early and we enjoyed our tea and cereal bars sitting behind the statue of Churchill. The weather was excellent, as it had been all weekend, and after employing another 'heads down' cycle routine for the return trip, we reached home at just gone 10am. Once again, we resolved to make more frequent trips to Westerham.

An early arrival at the Good Companions pub in Hamsey – over 100 vintage
cars were expected at the pub's Vintage Car Rally, Sunday 7th August.
On the way back, I stopped off briefly at the Good Companions pub where there was a vintage car rally. The landlady, who was in the car park when I arrived – I think it was the landlady as she came over to me and promoted the event, telling me that later on there would be well over 100 cars. I would have gone back, but had family commitments later in the day.

All told, an excellent three days of cycling – characterised by good weather, decent rides and a pint at the Botley.

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