Sunday, 30 March 2014

Forgetting the clocks went forward...

I went to bed early, disillusioned, as always, with the poor quality of British television. I have vague memories of listening to radio four and then I awoke, suddenly at 0530hrs, not by the alarm, but by the sound of my iphone vibrating. I'd received a message from Andy saying he was going to be late. What?  At 0530hrs in the morning? Oops! The clocks had gone forward – it was really 0630hrs.

I hastily wrote back admitting my failure to remember the beginning of British Summer Time and we agreed to meet at 0730hrs on the green, a loss of 30 minutes and that meant a ride to the Tatsfield Bus Stop, the long way was the only real option open to us.

Not getting up on time meant a slow ride to Tatsfield bus stop.
The weather this weekend has been fantastic. Bright blue skies, hot weather. Amazing. But yesterday I didn't ride out. I would have been on my own had I done so as Andy and Phil weren't going, but that's no excuse. Riding alone, even if it had been to the Bus Stop or Botley Hill and back or even to the Green, would have been enough, but I didn't go and, as a result, I was a bit grouchy for most of the day and the grouchiness was accentuated by having to mow the lawns – the first cut of the year, which is always a pain as the mower gets clogged up and keeps stopping and starting. I decided upon a strategy of mowing the back lawn about half a dozen times, starting on a high setting and gradually stepping it down to a short setting. It worked! And now all that remains is the front lawn.

So, this morning, I rushed out of the house, got the car out of the garage and set off for the green where Andy was waiting, looking a little bit Lycra monkey if the truth be known, although, on closer inspection, I let him off. He was wearing a high visibility top (with the word 'Prudential' on it (always a bad sign)) and his shorts, but was a far cry from the brightly coloured, all-in-one Lycra outfits we've seen on recent rides.

Why? That's what I want to know. Why does anybody get up in the morning and put it on? We saw a bloke today kitted out from head to toe in sponsored Lycra, but it goes without saying that he's not being sponsored, he just likes wearing the stuff. Last week there was the guy at Westerham with his brightly-coloured boots in addition to all the faux sponsorship. Mid-life crisis or what? It looks utterly ridiculous, of course, but why don't they see it? Perhaps, as they pass the hallway mirror in the morning, en route to the garage to retrieve their Conalgo or Bianchi, they stop, on seeing themselves, and are quietly chuffed by how tasty they think they look. But they don't look tasty, they don't look macho, they don't look anything – other than completely stupid. And still they jump on their bikes and ride down the street on the basis that, somehow, being on the bike in some way detracts from the way they look or, indeed, somehow defuses the ridiculous nature of their outfit BECAUSE they are on a bike and other people, out walking dogs or getting the Sunday papers from the local newsagent, would put two and two together and make four. "Ah! It's alright, Ethel, he might look a prat, but look, he's riding a racing bike so it doesn't matter, that's what they all wear. Precious grams and all that. Now it all makes sense!" Well, granted they would look even more foolish if they were out walking the dog while dressed in their Lycra nob-cheese clothing, but jumping on a bike doesn't make things any better.

We rode the long way to the bus stop and it was pleasant, even if Andy felt that Beddlestead Lane was never-ending (sometimes it seems longer than other times, he said). For me, oddly enough, it went by pretty quickly and soon we were sitting at the green drinking tea and munching cereal bars.

It was Phil's birthday yesterday and he went out for a curry. A text said he'd eaten twice his body weight in Indian food and would probably have difficulty getting out of bed in the morning.

The weather was just as good today as it was yesterday. The blossoms are on the trees, there are daffodils everywhere and the summer is truly on the way.

Andy and I parted company at Warlingham Green, but we will be back there next weekend for, hopefully, a couple of rides to Westerham on Saturday and Sunday.

Today is Mother's Day in the UK and I'm later heading off to Sheffield Park for a mosey around after re-heating (and eating) some of yesterday's paella for lunch. Can't wait.

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