Saturday, 19 April 2014

Day six – with Andy to the Tatsfield churchyard (16 miles)

Yours truly and Andy at the Tatsfield Churchyard.
Another nice day as I embarked upon my seventh consecutive ride since last Sunday. This time I was meeting Andy at Warlingham Green at the usual time of 0700hrs. Yes, it's a normal Saturday, but my string of rides continues and won't stop until I break the cycle, which is likely to be on Tuesday when I return to work. Having said that, I reckon I could manage a 10-miler before work simply by riding to Ledgers Road just beyond Knights (and back). Anyway, enough!

St Mary's Church, Tatsfield.
At the green I met another bunch of cyclists who, like Andy and I, are regular riders (although I don't think I've seen them before). One of them referred to hills as mountains, so a typical conversation would go something like this:-

"...yes, but the problem with that ride is the hill on the way back."
"Which one?"
"Coming out of Godstone, prior to crossing the motorway?"
"Oh, you mean the Eiger?"
"Well, no, it's Ganger's Hill, isn't it?"
"That's what we call the Eiger."

I started to wonder whether another sad blog like mine existed somewhere else in cyberspace, but decided to say nothing. Instead I texted Andy. "Are you awake?" I wrote, cockily, and then, as if by magic, he arrived and we headed for the Tatsfield churchyard, followed by our new acquaintances who overtook us on the 269 and disappeared.

As always, it was a straighforward ride to the churchyard where we sat on a bench, munched our cereal bars and drank tea. Andy told me about his ride to Brighton. I thought he'd cycled there with work colleagues, but apparently they'd all pulled out at the last minute with various excuses, leaving Andy to ride there and back alone. It took him two hours and 30 minutes to get there (39 miles) and three hours and 15 minutes to get back. The racer did well, but it was much more uncomfortable than the mountain bike as every pot hole, every irregularity on the road, rankled.

Andy makes it to Brighton alone. Photo: Andy Smith
I spoke briefly about my week on the bike and how great the weather had been and then it was time to find a photographic angle we hadn't already attempted on previous visits – a near impossible task.

The ride home was fine until I reached the green. Andy and I had said goodbye and then, as I followed the road round, some stupid idiot decided to open their roadside car door just as I was passing. I swerved and somehow managed to avoid a collision, but only just. All the way home I was dreaming up expletives that I would have used had I come off the bike.

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