Sunday, 7 October 2012

The gloves are off...when they should be on

A typical October morning. Photo: Andy Smith
The cold weather has definitely arrived. This morning I donned a jumper, but forgot about the gloves. It was dark when I left the house – meaning I could use my new lights – and while no gloves didn't seem to be a problem at first, there was a time later in the ride when I wished I'd put them on. In short, autumn has arrived.

The Lux 10 was brilliant. I had it on flicker mode and it illuminated road signs with a kind of strobe effect, which was fantastic. Powerful lights, that's the key to a dark start, and we're going to get plenty of them over the next few months.

Andy and I met at Warlingham Green as usual and decided to head off for the Tatsfield Bus Stop. It was a 7am meeting so that bit was fine, but Andy forgot his tea cup and only brought along one cereal bar. Talk about spooky, though. Yesterday evening, while in the supermarket, I spied cereal bars on the shelves and considered buying a couple for today's ride. I didn't, but in retrospect I should have done.

Even spookier: this morning, while making the tea, I thought that Andy might forget his mug and considered bringing a spare, just in case, but dismissed the idea. Andy, I figured, was too organised to forget his cup! How wrong! How wrong!

Anyway, we shared one cup and had half a cereal each as we sat at the bus stop wondering why the driver of a blue Ford people carrier had decided to pull up on to the grass verge and abandon his car. It must have been left there overnight due to a breakdown, perhaps. Who knows?

There was a frost on the grass, there were mists on the fields and from now on we'd have to start wearing jumpers, scarves and definitely gloves on our rides. The summer was over – not that it ever really began this year.

As I write this, the sun is out, the sky is blue and it's looking good out there, but earlier this morning it was very chilly. Instead of our usual sprint home along the B269, we turned right off of Clarks Lane into Beddlestead Lane and weaved our way round the small, narrow lanes towards the Warlingham Sainsbury's. This meant tackling Hesiers Hill, which was fine, but I really must ensure I'm in the right gear before riding up a hill. I had to go back down and reapproach it as I'd lost momentum on my initial attempt.

The Boardman's 27 gears – look how clean they are!
Riding down Beddlestead without gloves was painful, bringing home to me how cold it was and also how the winter was well and truly on the way. My hands were bright red with the cold and likewise my face.

Andy and I parted company at Warlingham Green and I continued along the Limpsfield Road, through Sanderstead High Street and then across the Gruffy (that's the name given to Sanderstead Green) and then down Church Way towards home.

Yesterday, I sold the Boardman Comp Mountain Bike and waved it goodbye. A nice-looking bike and I felt a bit sad about parting company with it, but I guess I was only a foster parent to it and at least I know it's gone to a good home over Reading way.

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