Saturday, 6 September 2014

Early morning ramblings...and then Westerham

Summer has left the building. Now I know that it's still fairly good weather out there – quite warm, not much wind or rain (in fact, hardly any) but sitting here now, in the conservatory at just gone 0630hrs, and it's fairly dark out there; and let's not forget that it's September – three months and a bit away from Christmas Day.
The statue of Sir Winston on Westerham's green. Archive pic.
If I had to choose between winter and summer, I'd take the latter any day. Cycling out on a cold, wintry day is no fun, especially if there's a cold breeze or, dare I say it, rain. I much prefer tee-shirt weather, being able to sit on the grass under a warm sun, although winter does have its appeal. There's something rather cosy about sitting in the conservatory in the dim light of morning, mug of tea and a bowl of Shredded Wheat.

It's very still out there at the moment. No wind. Just the hum of the computer and the birds tweeting. And now that we've moved the departure time to 0730hrs from the green it's great to just sit around, like now, writing a few words for the blog and acclimatising myself to the fact that I'm awake and ready for the ride.

I've received no texts from anybody saying they can't make it and if, like last week, we get a move-on, we should be able to reach the green by 0800hrs.

Hey, what is it about Cameron Diaz that I don't find attractive? Even when she's got next to nothing on – as in the poster for her latest movie Sex Tape – there's something about her that does nothing for me, but then I've never been a fan of dizzy blondes, perhaps that's it. I only bring her up because the aforementioned promotional image of her and her co-star in her latest movie has just appeared on my Yahoo! mail log-in page and I'm thinking: no, definitely not; I'd rather read a good book and sip tea.

Right, that's that out of the way. What else? You can tell I'm rambling, simply because I have the time. There's 10 minutes before I have to rush off and ride towards Warlingham Green and it's nice just to sit here writing about nothing. Mind you, I've got to find my trainers, chuck everything into the the rucksack and hope that Phil is outside waiting, so there's a lot to do and, as you can tell, the tranquility of a few moments ago is slowly ebbing away as the reality of hitting the road draws nearer.

I'm making it sound as if I don't like riding the old Kona. I do, honestly, but one of the problems with the later start is making myself a little too cosy in front of the computer and 'chatting' like this to nobody in particular, ie the miniscule audience that makes up my readers. I get roughly 50 hits a day, mainly from the USA and the UK but also from Australia and pockets of Europe and occasionally a comment from somebody I don't know.

Blogging is weird, but I'm addicted to it; if I didn't have to go out in a few minutes, I'd happily ramble on all day like this; God knows what I'd talk about, probably politics and world affairs, the usual stuff, I'd crack a few silly jokes, but, by and large, it would be a load of old rubbish. like the thoughts I have when I'm walking along the street: so much enters my mind as I wander around the suburban streets of South London and I flit from one thing to another, it's a bit like Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty when he has to deal with the world's prayers. One minute I'm fantasising about what I'd do if I won a load of money (I'd buy a house on the beach and spend most of my time staring out to sea) or I'm thinking about what I've got to do at work or I'd fantasise about my silly novel, the one I wrote for my daughter just for laughs, becoming an international bestseller...and that one leads to me buying a house on the beach and staring out to sea.

To Westerham again (22 miles)
Since that last sentence, the one about writing a bestselling novel and buying a house by the sea with the money, three hours have passed and I've been out on a ride to Westerham (22 miles). Phil and I met Andy at Warlingham Green and then we got our heads down and powered along the Limpsfield Road towards Westerham, taking the usual route. We were pretty fast, there was no talking (well, hardly any) and when we reached Westerham (at 0805) we brought out the biscuits and the tea and started to chat, first about the Rolls Royce parked up near to us (I don't like them, they're too 'local businessman made good' for my liking, and they're so dated). Phil likes their elegance and Andy didn't really pass comment, although I don't think a Roller is Andy's cup of tea either.

Phil and Andy haven't seen each other since Andy rode the 100-mile Ride London event so we chatted a bit about that and both Phil and I decided that it wasn't for us, although we'd happily consider, say, London-Brighton or London-Cambridge next year (50 and 60 miles respectively). Andy, incidentally, has signed up for next year's Ride London event.

Today's weather was perfect for riding. It was warm, a little overcast, but there was little in the way of wind. On the ride back we rode steadily towards the foot of the hill and didn't seem to have any problem reaching the top, which is long haul, all the way to the Botley Hill Farmhouse. I've noticed that my level of fitness has improved since losing the weight: I'm riding faster than before and I'm not so worn out on my return. I discovered today that I can wear trousers with a 32in waist again and my collar size has decreased from 16in back to 15.5in. This is all good news.

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