Monday, 13 October 2014

To Westerham – 22 miles

There was a red sky this morning as I emerged from the house. After unpadlocking the Kona and heading off in the general direction of Warlingham Green the gears began to crunch and slip, waking up the dead, I'd imagine. The bike needs a service: new front brakes, handle grips and re-adjusted gears, but it'll have to wait as I'm still very much on Skid Row.

Our bikes on Westerham Green, Sunday 12 October 2014. Pic: Andy Smith
As I headed along the Limpsfield Road, the gears smoothed out and when I reached the green there were clear signs that autumn had arrived. Alright, there were a few leaves on the ground...but no sign of Andy so out came the iphone and yes, sad bastard that I am, I started taking shots of the leaves. And then Andy turned up and was wondering what the hell I was doing.

"Yes, but heads down."

And off we went following the usual route.

This morning I donned the gloves, although I could have got away without them, it wasn't that cold. Not, that is, until we'd finished our descent in the lowlands surrounding Westerham. From up high we could see the thick mist that covered the the low-lying fields and as we came level with them, the cold took a large bite out of souls. It was seriously brass monkeys, but we hammered along and eventually reached the centre of town. Not that it's difficult to reach the centre of town as it's only a small green, a couple of pubs, a few shops and, of course, a statue of Sir Winston Churchill.

The cold and mist left a shivery sheen of dampness on everything, including our usual seats on the green. We both contemplated taking out a mortgage to buy a couple of teas from the Costa Coffee, but I'd hauled a huge flask of water, milk and teabags all the way from Sanderstead so we made do with standing up and drinking tea. Oh, and let's not forget the biscuits.

An autumnal scene at Warlingham Green...
It wasn't long before we realised it was time to head back up the hill, the long, long hill, all the way to Botley. Only a few yards into the climb and a Lycra Monkey tried to raise our morale by shouting 'nearly there!' as he hurtled past in the other direction. We continued to climb and it wasn't that bad and soon we found ourselves at Botley Hill and powering along the 269 towards Warlingham where we parted company.

I reached home just before 10am and carried on with my day.

Yesterday rain had stopped play, although the sun came out around 9am and Andy went out on a local ride. I had serious ambitions to ride to Botley but never got my act together so today's ride was sorely needed and it was very pleasant.

It's game on for next weekend – both days hopefully – so here's to the ride.

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