Saturday, 29 December 2012

Heavy winds slow us down

At 0600hrs this morning it was windy. I could hear it rattling the house as I plodded around making tea and a peanut butter sandwich. Oddly, when I peaked through the net curtains in the bedroom the world outside was still and – more importantly – dry.
The B269 looking North from the Botley Hill pub.

Once outside, the true power of the wind made itself known as I struggled against it riding up Church Way and then along the Limpsfield Road towards Warlingham Green. It slowed me down considerably and I called Andy to let him know that I was en route but pedalling into the wind.

Had it been raining, I would have felt like a North Sea trawler captain standing at the wheel on the bridge of the small vessel, facing swollen seas and driving rain. It seemed to take an age to get anywhere, but eventually the Green showed itself and there was Andy.

Mobile phones are now so commonplace everybody takes them for granted, I thought as I cycled towards the Green, but when I was a kid one of my great little fantasies was having a real walkie talkie, as we called them. The very idea of contacting my pals using our own communications system was my idea of fun.

Back in the day, the nearest I came to having my own walkie talkie was two yoghurt cartons connected together by a piece of string. Having a mobile phone, of course, is just like having your own walkie talkie and as I dialled Andy prior to reaching the Green, memories of walkie talkie fantasies flooded back to me.

We headed towards the Tatsfield Bus Stop in the wind and progress was slow, but the weather was truly invigorating. The wind picked up and then quietened down and repeated the process all the way to our destination, although it seemed to die down a little once we seated and tucking in to our mince pies, cereal bars and tea.

We watched passing cars and cyclists for a while and noticed that the wind, while slightly milder than it had been on our outward journey, had calmed down a little as we prepared to head back home.

When we reached Botley Hill the weather was fantastic. Fast-moving cloud overhead, a strong wind behind us most of the way and there was no sign of rain. I felt great all the way down the 269. I waved farewell to Andy as he branched off halfway along and I continued towards Warlingham and then Sanderstead, enjoying the freshness of the air – a truly great day and the weather was excellent.

There had been rain, but it must have been early in the morning as there were puddles everywhere. Now, as I write this at 1523hrs, there has been more rain and it's damp and grey outside and there are spots of rain on the conservatory window.

Andy's just sent a text saying he won't be cycling tomorrow or Monday, meaning that I'll have to motivate myself. The key is to get out there. If I can cover just 10 miles I'll be happy so let's hope for no rain. I'd like to go everyday from now until New Year's Day, but for now I'll concentrate on motivating myself for tomorrow.

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