Sunday, 8 February 2015

A cold and frosty morning as we head for the Tatsfield Bus Stop...

The start of the year is, as I've probably said before, slow. Slow in the sense that I'm always feeling a little lethargic and still trying to kick myself into gear after the Christmas break. Cold weather doesn't help as it makes me want to lie in bed rather than jump out of it and ride the bike.
At the Tatsfield Bus Stop in the frosty weather...

Last week, because of the trip to Morocco, I didn't ride out at all, although this was partly due to the cold weather. While Saturday's no-show was to do with getting home at 0100hrs from North Africa, Sunday morning's laziness was purely down to the cold weather outside. The cars and the ground were frosted over and I had to reach for the phone and type out the word 'abort'.

It's now Sunday morning and it's 0913hrs as I write this. I didn't go out, but that was because I awoke at 0300hrs and had a devil of a job getting back to sleep. I started to think about getting up and going cycling and I knew that, if I did fall asleep, I'd be in a right state of weariness when the alarm rang out at 0555hrs. I've set the clock to this time because I really enjoy Tweet of the Day on Radio Four, which comes on just before the news. But I missed it, if it was on today, but when I did regain consciousness at 0739hrs (I'm only precise because I have a digital clock) I started having the usual regrets and the usual fretful conversations with myself: perhaps I should get up now and ride to the green and back, or call Andy, find out where he is and arrange to meet him somewhere along the route. But in all truth, I was tired and when I did get up I realised that I wouldn't be riding anywhere.

Yesterday it was freezing cold. There was frost everywhere: on the cars, on the grass, on the pathways and on the road, but I was up early (around 0530hrs) and raring to go. I made myself tea and Shredded Wheat and after watching the television (BBC Breakfast – not all of it) I sorted out the tea, packed the old rucksack and rode out towards Warlingham Green wearing the flappy hat and green balaclava combo. I also had on FIVE layers: a tee-shirt, a normal shirt, a thick jumper, a hooded sweatshirt and my rusty-coloured jacket, not forgetting a scarf and the Tesco ASBO specials. The only part of me that was cold was my feet.

It was a clear day, a crisp day, and when I reached Warlingham Green there was no sign of Andy. When he arrived he complained about his bike's gears and said that he was fed up with always having to fix something. I agreed. There was always something wrong with our bikes and it was normally related to the gears. You've read previous posts on this blog in which I've moaned about gears and bottom brackets and brakes and Andy's right, it's a constant in our lives and that's leaving aside punctures. Punctures are like Voldemort, we tend not to talk about them because as soon as we do we feel we're tempting fate. I mentioned to Andy again, yet again, that we'd be better off with 'normal' bikes with mudguards and block brakes and at that suggestion we headed off for the good old faithful Tatsfield Bus Stop.

Sanderstead Pond was still icy as I rode home
It was a good ride. We went the fast way as I don't think either of us could face the long climb up Beddlestead Lane; and after damaging my left foot the other week (I blame Hesiers Hill) it was a route I didn't fancy taking, even if it did allow us to engage in conversation, safe in the knowledge that there were no cars around.

When we reached the bus stop we sat and drank tea and munched on our Belvitas (I love Belvitas). A man walked by talking into a mobile phone to somebody or simply talking into a dictaphone, we couldn't see properly, but he said something like "...and the temperature is one degree Centigrade." He was wearing a complete, body-hugging Lycra outfit and carrying a rucksack. We watched as he crossed Clarks Lane and walked down White Lane and then, after laughing at a few of the entries from my Viz Das Krapital 'profanisauris' we mounted our bikes and headed home, parting at Warlingham Green and vowing to be back on the green at 0730hrs the following morning. Sadly it was not to be as I awoke in the middle of the night and had trouble getting back to sleep. But this, of course, is where you, oh humble reader, came in. Until next week, when we really MUST get our acts together. Alright, not 'we' but me.

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