Sunday, 16 June 2013

Botley Hill and the Tatsfield Churchyard...with bacon sarnies AND some of mum's fruit cake...

It's been a good weekend cycling-wise. The usual short one on Saturday – to Botley Hill – and then, on Sunday, a ride to the Tatsfield Churchyard. On Saturday three of us took to the streets – Andy, Phil and yours truly – and then, on Sunday, just Andy and I (Phil was in the London to Brighton Bike Ride, a 50-miler). So, in total, Phil did quite a bit of riding this weekend: 14 miles to and from Botley, an easy 10 miles to Clapham Common and then 50 to Brighton, that's rounded off at 75 miles.

Andy's mug and his bacon sandwich at Botley Hill.
On Saturday it was grey, but not cold. Rain had fallen over night and there were plenty of puddles to be avoided (especially if you're riding a Kona without mudguards). I'd been out to check my bike during the week, just in case the rear tyre was flat, but all was well. We met Andy at Warlingham Green and headed off along the Limpsfield Road. Phil had made us all bacon sandwiches, which went down well, washed down with some tea and, after a short chat we headed for home.

Mum's fruit cake at the Tatsfield Churchyard – two slices each and tea!
Sunday, it was Andy and I who met on the Green and headed out for the Tatsfield Churchyard. It was a pleasant day and this time we had mum's fruit cake, a nice big chunk that afforded us both two slices. I'd packed a kitchen knife and two plates plus the tea and we sat on our usual bench chatting about various things, including me losing my rag with Lloyds TSB (you'll soon be able to read the full account on but let's just say that, what with my recent dealings with the idiot next door, the poetry incident with my mother-in-law (you really don't want to know) and now Lloyds Bank, you could say I'm losing it a bit. I think in court of law I'd probably have my sentence cut due to 'diminished responsibility', but anyway, it's all water under the bridge now except to say that people have been getting to me for no reason and, I must add, that I've not been at fault in any of the arguments. And look, I'd be the first to admit I was wrong (if I was) but you'll have to trust me on this, in all instances, I did nothing wrong. So, I said I'd forget about it: that's it, forgotten.

The cake was good and so were Phil's bacon sandwiches and the weather picked up as the day progressed. Oddly, it was one of those days when it rained while the sun was out...and then the rain stopped but the sun continued to shine.

After the ride I pottered around in the garden trying to pull out a bush (and later succeeding) before going for a swim at the new pool in Waddon. I've probably mentioned this before, but there's a new pool and at 4pm on a Sunday it's completely empty. After the swim, I sat in the armchair watching Diary of a Wimpy Kid, drifting in and out of sleep.

I noticed that Phil reached home around 3.30pm, which means he must have finished around 1pm, probably no later than 1.30pm (good going). He'd driven his Merc down to Brighton on Saturday so that he'd be able to put the bike in the back and drive home... rather than do what I did the last time I took part: I went back with the crowd having put my bike on the lorry bound for Clapham Common. It was back in 2007 and I'll never forget it. The ride was good, my first on the Kona, but when I reached Brighton Pavilion, right at the end, I fell off, grazing my hands and shoulder in the process. I was sore for a few weeks after that and could have wished that coach journey from Brighton further. The worst bit was passing through Croydon en route for London knowing that, had my bike been with me, I could have riden up the road towards home and would have been sitting in front the TV within 30 minutes. But no, I was on the coach back to London and would have to make my way to Clapham Junction railway station to get a train home to East Croydon (they allowed me on) and would then ride from East Croydon home – knackering after a 50-mile ride. Yes, happy days and I must do it again.

A good weekend of cycling. Andy and I covered 30 miles in total and, as always, it was very pleasant. I love that tired feeling that comes with hot weather and exercise. It makes going to bed feel great and I know it's going to feel good tonight.

It's just before 10pm as I write this and it's still fairly light outside. The longest day (June 21st) is not a long way off, a matter of days, but so far the weather could do with being a little more like the summer. The garden's looking good as I sit here, the halogen glow from the computer lighting up the conservatory. The television is on but both our kids are asleep and soon I'll be doing the same. Until next week...

Pix courtesy of Andy Smithclick here for more Andy Smith pix.

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