Sunday, 23 March 2014

We ride to Westerham, I get a puncture and some Lycra monkeys get our goat...

Another ride to Westerham, meaning 44 miles in total this weekend and good weather on both occasions, although there were mild rain showers as we made the return journey. Nothing major, no driving rain, just the odd squall.
My Scrap, upside down – the first puncture for a while.
Andy and I met at 7am and headed off on the usual route. When we reached Westerham, the tea was delayed by yours truly and a puncture that I must have picked up on the approach to the town. The offending thorn was about an inch long (see photo below), but the puncture was fixed relatively quickly – once I'd got the front wheel off. Andy says there's a problem with the bearings, something else that needs to be sorted out. So, that's the bottom bracket, new front brake shoes and now, the wheel bearings. But oddly, that knocking I was getting a few weeks back has gone and I'm wondering if it's anything to do with me losing weight (I've lost 21lbs just by doing the following:-

1. Reducing bread intake from 10 + slices per day to just two slices.
2. Cutting out/reducing virtually everything to do with the letter B. Bread, buns, biscuits and beer (yes, beer), not forgetting chocolate bars and sweets.
3. No eating between meals, just breakfast, lunch and dinner and if I do eat between meals it's either a raw carrot or, after lunch only, a small portion of almonds from M&S.

That's about it and I've lost 21lbs! And I haven't stopped dessert either, meaning I can eat, say, apple pie and crumble of an evening, should the fancy take me, and that's alright.

My intake of food consists, roughly, of the following:-

1. One bowl of porridge for breakfast and possibly an item of fruit, ie a banana or an apple.
2. One sandwich (two slices of bread) for lunch. Normally tuna and onion or cheese and tomato plus an apple and a raw carrot, which I eat mid-morning. I buy the almonds at lunch time and eat them around 2pm and that sees me through to dinner time.
3. Dinner can be anything: lentils and rice, salmon, potatoes and greens, whatever. The key is not to eat more than two slices of bread per day and NEVER eat between meals. I can drink alcohol, but nothing excessive and it must be during the 'dinner' period (except when travelling). At Prague airport last week, for instance, I had a pint of Pilsner Urquell with a cheese and ham toastie – fine, it was lunch time. But on the flight back I had nothing to eat or drink, waiting instead for dinner.

By following the above regime (which hasn't been too difficult) I've lost 21lbs.

So today, when Andy bought two rock cakes from the Tudor Rose Tearooms in Westerham,  while tempted, I resisted, making do with the cereal bar.

Lycra monkey idiots!
It's been a good weekend of cycling, but a bunch of Lycra monkeys left a nasty taste. Why? Because, outside the Tudor Rose, where the ridiculously dressed monkeys were sitting, there is a residential house adjoining the café. On the wall of the private address is a very clear notice, a 'polite notice' asking cyclists not to lean their bicycles against the wall. The monkeys had ignored this notice and leaned their bikes, one on top of the other, against the wall while they sat there discussing their annuities (that's all Lycra monkeys do: talk about 'matters financial' and you just know that they have a Phil Collins album somewhere in their collection.

So, the monkeys sat there, discussing the usual crap and one of them had the audacity to wear bright orange boots – he looked absolutely ridiculous. Then, two more monkeys arrived, not part of the original group, and they left their bikes obstructing the front door of the private house. Had anybody inside the house decided to come outside they would have had to move the bikes. The monkeys concerned were not concerned at all by this; instead they just sailed into the Tudor Rose, took a seat and ordered food and drink. We saw them laughing and joking from our position on the green.
The one-inch long thorn I found in my inner tube.

We were outside fixing my puncture or sipping tea and we just thought: 'what a bunch of nob cheeses!' In many ways it ruined the ride, but we re-mounted our bikes and headed out of town and up the long hill from Westerham to the Botley Hill Farmhouse pub and then powered our way down the 269 where we noticed there a distinct chill in the air.

I got home just before 1000hrs pleased with the fact that I'd riden 44 miles over the weekend. It was like old times and long may it continue.

Andy and I have vowed to ride out as early and as often as possible and we aim for 44-milers most weekends – weather permitting.

Main photo: Andy Smith.

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