Sunday, 8 June 2014

To Westerham...

I woke up early and was out of bed by 0530hrs. Great weather. Sunshine and blue skies even at such an ungodly hour. Tea and Shredded Wheat before 0600hrs and then I had to inflate my front tyre. By 0615hrs I was in the garage pumping the tyre, hoping it wouldn't go down. It stayed up, but I reckon by this time next week it'll be down again. To be honest, it's a mystery, as when I checked it a few weeks back, despite the fact that it was flat, I couldn't find a puncture and this is getting boring so I'll say no more about it.
Andy in shorts, Phil in Lycra and yours truly with the ASBO specials and
the number four crop  We're leaning against a statue of Winston Churchill.
Phil and I set off at 0630hrs, in the wrong gear, and had to circle around the street until we found the right ones. There was nobody about, which was nice, as we headed up Ellenbridge, into Southcote and then up Elmfield, hanging left into Morley and right on to Church Way. All was quiet at Sanderstead pond as we slipped quietly on to the Limpsfield Road, next stop Warlingham Green.

No sign of Andy when we reached the Green, but no messages received either, and soon he arrived and we decided to head for Westerham. It was a good ride with nothing extraordinary to report.

When we reached Westerham we discussed fanatics, people who won't accept that there's another perspective on something and who believe that their way alone is the right way, even if it's the wrong way. Fanatics are basically crazy people and there are plenty of different types of fanatic around. We hear a lot these days about religious and political fanatics, but they come in all shapes and sizes. Some are what I call 'right on' fanatics who let their own warped and misguided views of life restrict them in so many ways. To be honest, each to their own, as long as they don't expect everybody else to adhere to their way of life. This was one of the topics we discussed as we drank tea and munched biscuits.

The sunny weather brought out plenty of other cyclists. In fact, back at Botley, on the outward journey, a couple of Lycra monkeys referred to Andy and Phil as tortoises (they probably meant all three of us, but I never heard what they said). We had a little laugh about that as it wasn't meant malicously (and was probably true, although we had slowed down for a roundabout) but being as Phil was wearing his Lycra shorts and Andy had on his flourescent yellow top, they were both almost Lycra monkeys themselves. I was the only one who adhered to the rules of the club, our unofficial club – No Visible Lycra. I wasn't wearing any Lycra, just my Tesco ASBO trousers and a hooded top – straight outta the housing estate. And now that I've got a cropped head of hair under my crash helmet I was, in many ways, looking even worse than I did the other week when I rode out on my daughter's bike.

We had plenty to chat about when we reached Westerham and, if I'm honest, I didn't really want to get back on the bike. As I said to Phil and Andy, if I had a newspaper and possibly some alcohol and some food and a radio, I could have sat around on the green all day, like a mildy eccentric tramp, forever putting off that ride up the hill, that punishing incline that lasts all the way to Botley. But we had to be going and soon we were riding out of town.

Andy said goodbye half way along the 269 and Phil and I continued towards Sanderstead, passing an old man on a bench when we reached Sanderstead pond who was out early enjoying the morning sunshine with his wife. According to Phil the old boy let one go as we passed but again, like the tortoise comment earlier, I heard nothing. We had a chuckle about the old geezer as we sped down Church Way towards home. Next week we're planning two consecutive rides to Westerham based on the fact that we haven't been cycling a great deal of late.

I spent most of the rest of the day sitting in the garden reading and drinking tea. Life doesn't get much better.

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