Sunday, 28 September 2014

To Westerham – 22 miles

A few years ago a dust cloud emanating from an Icelandic volcano brought commercial aviation to a standstill in Northern Europe and I distinctly remember our skies being clear of the scars left behind by numerous jet vapour trails. I'm often amazed at the criss-cross pattern of white lines that blight our skies when there's no dust cloud around and this morning was a case in point. As I emerged from the house I looked upwards and it was as if a small child had been let loose with a white marker pen on light blue paper.

Matt and Andy, Westerham, Sunday 28 September 2014
Andy and I met on the green at 0730hrs and headed off with the sun in our eyes. It was a bright sun and there were blue skies as we rode east along the 269 towards Botley. The weather was warmer today than yesterday, but it cooled down considerably as we descended into Westerham – although it's still not time to wear gloves.

When we arrived at our bench on Westerham Green, Andy brought out the Bel Vita biscuits, I made the tea and all was fine with the world. We sat there chatting about nothing in particular. I think the iphone 6 was mentioned in passing and we talked about a ride to Chipstead Lake. In fact, Andy was contemplating – or dare I say yearning – to ride there this morning from Westerham. He was certainly in two minds about pushing ahead and I told him he needn't go back to Pilgrims Way; he simply had to carry on along the road towards Sundridge, via Brasted, and he'd eventually see a sign for Chipstead village on his left, but he decided to ride back with me instead.

Andy rode alone to Chipstead Lake. Pic: Andy Smith.
I know what Andy means about Chipstead Lake. It's a great place and sometimes we all need to go somewhere like it just to chill out a bit. Andy was saying how he never seems to find the time to simply ride somewhere like the lake and not have to worry about what time he gets back. I agreed. We'd both riden to the lake recently but alone; Andy rode there last weekend on his road bike and I was there a few weeks back at the beginning of August, but we've not been there en masse so to speak for a long while. Click here for details of my last ride to the lake.

Both of us were dreading the climb out of Westerham, but in all honesty it was fine and soon we were on the 269 heading back towards Warlingham. We parted at Warlingham Green with Andy saying he wouldn't be riding next Saturday and me saying I wouldn't be out on Sunday, so the likelihood is that our next outing will be the week after next.

Our bikes in Westerham this morning
It's noon now and the sun is bright. There are clear blue skies and you could definitely say that we're experiencing an Indian summer; it is, after all, almost October.

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