Sunday, 29 June 2014

To Tatsfield Bus Stop, the long way (there and back), but with a chunk of corned beef pie and a cup of tea when we got there!

Ready to head home after our corned beef pie
Going the long way to the bus stop is far preferable to riding along the 269, although, as we returned we began to have second thoughts. The reason was simple: quiet country lanes are dangerous. Around a bend a car or other cyclists appear out of nowhere. At least on the 269 you can see the cars coming and they can see you. We agreed that on the outward journey, using the long route was best because it's on the outward journey that we like to chat and there's little traffic around (although you've still got to watch it). On the return journey, having exhausted our conversation (today we discussed corned beef pie, bread pudding and bread & butter pudding) we're more inclined to get our heads down and concentrate on the ride.

It was a good morning in terms of the weather: bright sunshine like yesterday, but the rain the day before had dampened the pollen count and my eye was feeling fine. I might not have mentioned yesterday that my hay fever was probably the worst it's ever been. My eye got a little itchy at the bus stop and, foolishly, I rubbed it, causing the right one to inflame. A unsightly 'bag' of sorts developed underneath it and took a good day and a half to disappear. I started to worry about it, but it's calmed down now and, thanks to some protective eye wear on today's ride, all is fine.

We left the house at the usual time of 0630hrs and headed in the usual direction as the plan was to repeat yesterday's ride – the slow way there and back to the Tatsfield Bus Stop. It was a pleasant ride, but we were itching to eat the corned beef pie that Phil had made and when, finally, we reached our destination, Phil produced the aforementioned pie along with a couple of decent plates AND cutlery. I provided the tea, a much-needed accompaniment, and the feast was perfect. We've discussed bringing a small table, tablecloth, cutlery, crockery and some wine and while this has been a bit of a joke, it looks as if it's taken on a serious note and might well happen in the not-too-distant future. We're thinking breakfast of corned beef pie and baked beans washed down with a Merlot or a Cabernet Sauvignon. I wonder what sort of looks we'll get from passers by? Today's looks were pretty strange and that was just with our pies, on plates, balanced on our laps. Mind you, when you see somebody at a remote bus stop, knife and fork in hand, eating something substantial-looking like a chunk of corned beef pie, it's definitely a double-take moment.

Corned beef pie, on a decent plate with some cutlery. 
No sign of Dawes Galaxy this morning, which was good news as I don't think Phil and I fancied sharing our pie with anybody. We sat around and discussed our culinary plans for future rides – bread pudding was mentioned – so we could have a veritable feast ahead of us involving a main course AND dessert, not forgetting the wine to wash it all down.

We rode home the slow way, the same as yesterday, and I encountered similar gear problems to yesterday too, which was annoying, although I'd managed to change down at the right time for Hesiers ... it was the smaller hill on Church Lane that caused the problem.

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