|Sir Richard Attenborough. Pic: Daily Mail|
The weather on Saturday was perfect for cycling and walking.
Because of the walk, however, I had to abort my usual Saturday ride, but Andy gets a 'respect is due' for riding alone to Westerham (and sending me photos as proof – see shots below). On Sunday I rode out with Andy to the Tatsfield churchyard – the long way. We left later than usual, otherwise we'd have probably taken a ride to Westerham, but it would have meant getting back later and, as always, there were things to do back home.
It was a pleasant ride and pleasant weather too, just perfect for a visit to the churchyard, which is great when the sun is shining and it's not too cold. Having said that, as August comes to an end, the weather is beginning to get colder. There's a nip in the air and, as I rode off from the house, I started to think about wearing gloves again. Andy, I noticed, was still wearing shorts, but even he said that their days were numbered. We met at the Green and headed off in the usual direction, turning left at the roundabout just beyond Sainsbury's and following the country lanes that run parallel to the 269 towards Hesiers Hill and then Beddlestead Lane.
|Andy and Matt, Tatsfield Churchyard, Sunday 24th August 2014.|
Our only regret is that we never started the blog from the word go, back in August 2006 when our cycling started out – the pioneering days of discovering new destinations (such as Godstone Green, Chipstead Lake and so on) – all places that are commonplace these days, but back in 2006 were unknown to us as cycling destinations. It's a shame we hadn't recorded those walks from Westerham to Oxted when a puncture meant a squeaky yomp to the nearest railway station (Oxted) and a short ride home on the train in the days before it crossed our minds to bring a puncture repair kit on the rides.
|Andy rides to Westerham on Saturday 23 Aug|
As always, the thought of getting back on the bikes and riding back is a little bit depressing as it's nice to sit on a bench in warm weather, mug of tea in one hand and a biscuit in the other, setting the world to rights or just having a laugh about something normally very immature in nature (we're all big kids). In fact it's quite amazing (and laughable) sometimes how childish our sense of humour can be when you consider that we all have adult responsibilities, but that's a good thing in my opinion.
Going back to destinations of old, I remember once we rode to Knockholt via Sundridge Hill, a punishing climb if ever there was one (easily one of the worst hills we've experienced). When we reached the top (without dismounting) I think we rode along Main Road from the top of the hill to the green where there is just one shop (Knockholt Village Shop). It was raining hard and there was no cover (that and the hill are two good reasons why we haven't been back in a while). I don't even think we had any tea with us so it was definitely the pre-blog days. All very depressing, but oddly, I think we should go there again if only to tackle that hill once more.
|At the top of the hill out of Westerham|
Now, it's Bank Holiday Monday and guess what? It's raining – it always rains on a Bank Holiday Monday. The sky is grey and it looks as if it's going to be wet and murky all day long. Cycling was totally off the agenda this morning. Andy was planning a lie-in and while I thought I'd be riding out alone to Tatsfield or Westerham or Botley, the late night and the expected poor weather meant that I too would be having a rare lie-in followed by boiled egg and fingers, cereal, a banana and a couple of toasted crumpets...not forgetting a cup of tea.
Andy might want to take note of this: I cleaned my bike on Saturday afternoon. Got rid of all the caked-in mud and made it look a bit more respectable than some of the bikes you see on the road. I even oiled the chain!