Saturday, 28 June 2014

Tatsfield Bus Stop – the slow way there (and back)

The weather forecasters had been promising rain so much that Phil decided an abort text before it even rained, ie the night before the ride, would be a smart move (no need to get up in the early hours, bleary-eyed, to send out the obligatory abort text).
Too good to eat...Phil's corned beef pie ready for the ride 

I know that feeling. In fact, I was quite glad because it meant that I was free to lounge about and possibly go for a ride – weather permitting – at a slightly later hour. As it turned out, the weather was fantastic, I woke up very early (something like 0500hrs) and was downstairs eating my Shredded Wheat at an ungodly hour. The weather was so good that I figured I'd better text Phil to tell him I was going for a ride (remember, he'd aborted the night before). But, as luck would have it, he was thinking the same way and suggested we meet around 0630hrs. I looked at my watch, it was around 0600hrs – or thereabouts – so I had a good half an hour to sort out the tea.

I couldn't understand the weather. It was blue skies and sunshine (perfect riding weather) but, as we progressed, certainly by the time we reached the bottom of Hesiers Hill and were on our way along Beddlestead Lane towards Clarks Lane, the clouds had gathered. But still, a soaking was no way near imminent – there were blue skies.

When we reached the Tatsfield Bus Stop we did the usual: drank tea and ate biscuits and then we got into a conversation about lawlessness, which was good fun. Dawes Galaxy appeared. Dawes Galaxy is a man from Selsdon. We don't know his name so he goes by the name of his bike, a Dawes Galaxy. He was going to the Oval to watch the cricket in the afternoon, raising the subject of potential rain, but he didn't seem too bothered. In fact, it was odd seeing Dawes Galaxy riding his Dawes Galaxy, a bike he keeps locked up during the winter months.

We watched as Dawes Galaxy rode away, towards Botley, along Clarks Lane, and then we too headed for home, taking a right into Beddlestead Lane and basically repeating the outward ride, which was pleasant in the early sunshine, even if, on two occasions, I had the bike in the wrong gear for going up Hesiers and then as I approached a smaller hill. Both times I had to ride back to the bottom of the hill and click the Kona into the right gear. On one occasion the gears froze, but miraculously unfroze themselves – I need to oil it more often.

As avid readers will be only too aware, corned beef pie has been an important part of the conversation of late. Well, now Phil has truly excelled himself (see photo above). Not only has he already received a 'respect is due' for his sausage sandwiches in the past (the last one made with home-made bread) this time he's gone and baked a corned beef pie, a slice of which I will be sampling tomorrow morning. We've discussed bringing wine – I hope he doesn't – but then we start to look like fit alcoholics out for an early morning ride. Believe me, it's a long way from the truth.

On the weather front, we managed to get home without any sign of a soaking, although within 15 minutes or so of being home, I looked out of the window and, sure enough, it was raining.

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