Sunday, 3 November 2013

Tatsfield Bus Stop and 'that rural bit we once visited'...and we didn't get rained on

There was a strong chance of rain, said the television weather forecasters and a few people in the office, meaning that there was a strong likelihood the rides would be called off to avoid a soaking. Fortunately, the rains stayed away and both days were absolutely fine.

Not far away, but in the middle of nowhere – Phil, Matt and Andy.
Saturday we headed for the Tatsfield Bus Stop, Andy, Phil and yours truly. We went the fast way and then sat there drinking tea and munching cereal bars. Sunday and we were going to visit the old bus stop again, until I remembered a destination that doesn't really have a name because it's in the middle of nowhere, there are no benches, no covered bus stops, just grass and hills. In fact, it's not really in the middle of nowhere either, but you have to get off the 269, head down Ledgers Road and then turn right into Washpond Lane before turning left and then riding for about 20 yards until you reach a rough track that leads down to (ahem) nowhere in particular.

The off-road path is steeper than I remembered it and there are concrete speed humps that merge into the landscape and can be dangerous if you don't see them coming. We all headed down the path, brakes covered and watching out for the humps and when we finally made it, we rested our bikes against a wooden fence and climbed over to the pointless stile where, on two previous occasions, we had enjoyed our tea and cereal bars.

Today, however, it was some excellent sausage sandwiches, courtesy of Phil, who had been to our local butchers. They were pretty tasty and were washed down with three cups of tea each. If the truth be known we went a little over the top with the water. Phil brought a huge flask with him and I bought the usual flask plus one of those Thermos cups. I also brought six tea bags so to have three cups each we had to use the second bag twice.
Phil's and Matt's bikes on Warlingham Green, Sunday 3rd November 2013.

While we were standing there admiring the view and drinking tea, a group of riders came down the footpath and carried on along a track that led to a steep climb some 300 yards away. We watched them to see if they would make it up, but knowing darn well that they wouldn't make it. Sure enough they didn't make it and then Andy figured he could do better and sped off down the track. He made three attempts, but did no better and admitted the path was too steep and too slippery.

We walked halfway up the footpath and then mounted our bikes and headed back along Beddlestead Lane and then turned right into Washpond Lane, left into Ledgers Road and then right on the 269 heading towards Warlingham Green where we parted company with Andy. We reached home just before 10am.

The weather this weekend was excellent. This morning (Sunday) there were blue skies, bluer than yesterday, but now, at 2120hrs,  it's raining, heavily, just as promised, albeit around 12 hours later than scheduled.

I went out in shorts and no gloves this morning, it was that warm, and yesterday the gloves were off too, although Saturday was a wetter ride thanks to overnight rain, which had left puddles in the road. The only reason I was wearing shorts today was because the track suit bottoms were soaked through due to the puddles.

Something else worth mentioning is our old pal, known by Andy and I as 'Dawes Galaxy'. That's the name of his bike, we don't know his name, but he joined us for a brief chat yesterday (Saturday).

This morning Andy was late due to a puncture and he got another one after he left us at Warlingham Green, he informed me in a text. My bike seemed fine and I couldn't hear the knocking caused by the bottom bracket for some reason, although I'm sure it'll return again soon.
Waiting for Andy on Warlingham Green, Sunday 3rd November 2013.

We met one of the gung-ho cyclists this morning, just Phil and I as Andy was fixing his rear wheel puncture. We don't know the guy's name, but he's alright and was showing off his new Yeti mountain bike. He'd bought the frame on Ebay and then built the bike himself. Not bad at all. In fact, it put my Kona to shame. The Yeti was lightweight and had 27 gears. The gung-ho cyclist was waiting for his pal to turn up, but it looked as if he wasn't going to show so the GHC went off alone and we continued to wait for Andy who came along shortly afterwards.

All things considered it was a good ride on both days. Alright, a wet arse on Saturday for yours truly (for having no mudguards) but a dry and refreshingly blustery day this morning – perfect for riding.

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