Sunday, 13 January 2013

Late one to Botley Hill in the cold...

I won't lie. I very nearly didn't go at all. Up at 0600hrs having not really wanted to go the night before; and I got the distinct impression that Andy felt the same way as I noticed a text from him commenting on the cold weather. It was cold yesterday and the forecast is for more of the same, plus snow, so when I woke up this morning, having sent Andy texts along the lines of 'let's see how cold it is tomorrow' and so on, my mindset was: we're not going.

Just gone six and I sent Andy another text saying the only thing that would stop me going was if my bike had a puncture; he suggested I go check, which I did, and found that it was fine. I even commented that it wasn't that cold. But Andy had a headache and said he wasn't going so I then relaxed a bit. Surely, I shouldn't go as that was my gut feeling, but I was up and awake and why not go? But that thought lingered for hours and hours.
Halfway back along the B269 I took this shot of me and the Kona.

I remember Andy telling me that he gets grumpy if he doesn't go out for a ride and that was how I was getting: grumpy. Should I go? If so, where to? Urban ride to mum's? No, I was there yesterday. Botley? Possibly. The Woodland Trek? Too boring. Warlingham Green? Possibly.

In the end, with the time creeping towards 10am and feeling distinctly pissed off because I was hesitating and not going was now seriously on the cards, I went upstairs and strummed a few chords on the guitar. I gazed out of the window and inwardly berated myself. You must go! You must go! You won't feel settled unless you get out there. Go! Just go! So I went.

It wasn't that cold once I was moving, but I think that was a lot to do with having come from a warm place: the house. It took me ten minutes to reach the top of Church Way and head down Sanderstead High Street en route for Warlingham Green. I figured a quick 10-miler would be ample, considering the time, but the thought of pushing on to Botley nagged at me, especially as I approached the Green – now minus it's Christmas tree. But I decided to push on, perhaps to the mini roundabout beyond Sainsbury's, although I was already having that conversation with myself.

"You might as well go for Botley."
"Or the ten-mile marker at Ledgers Road?"
"But Botley's only another two miles from Ledgers Road."
"Only two miles?"
"Yes, you might as well push on."
"Yeah, you've got a point. Shall I go just to Botley or to the mini roundabout beyond it?"
"You know the rules: Botley means going to the roundabout and heading back."
"Ok, then."

So off I went, past Sainsbury's and then past Knights Garden Centre and for a minute I thought about the church, St Leonard's or doing a circuit that would bring me to the lights at Selsdon High Street. But no, I pressed on, up the hill and then to Botley Hill, round the roundabout and back, stopping along the 269 on the way back – near to a house where there are always loads of dogs barking – where I stopped and took this photograph.

It took me 90 minutes there and back but it was cold and as I approached Botley there was a little bit of snow falling, very fine, almost non-existent, but it was definitely snow.

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