|Twats of the Antarctic –my cycling outfit does me no favours whatsoever|
"Really? Are you sure? I say we go for it, head for The Ridge..."
"Well, we could, I guess. Let's aim for reaching the green and take things from there."
So off I went without any waterproof trousers or top, just me in my Tesco ASBO specials and the M&S hooded top, my rust-coloured old jacket, a baggy old jumper and, of course, the 'New York' beany hat – my Peter Storm flappy hat, incidentally, was absent-mindedly left on a train earlier in the week.
|The bikes on their own. Note the snow... everywhere! Pic by Andy Smith|
|The off-road bit I despise so much!|
|View to the right of the bike along the off-road stretch|
|View to the left of the bike along the off-road stretch I dislike|
Andy and I parted at the green, vowing to meet up again on Sunday, weather permitting. I rode home and saw a sensibly dressed, clean, tidy and (more to the point) dry Phil about to drive off to Southampton with his daughter. I felt decidedly under-dressed in my wet-through Tesco ASBO specials, my face speckled with mud and, let's make no bones about it, I looked a complete mess.
|A discarded Coke can heightened our sense of desolation|
|Bare trees meant little in the way of shelter|
|Shortly after leaving the house the snow began to fall...|
On Sunday we rode to the Tatsfield Bus Stop – where we should have headed yesterday. Mum had given me a couple of slices of Christmas cake so we enjoyed tea, cake and BelVita biscuits. Andy had a puncture close to where he lives and was sorely tempted to abort, but we agreed to meet at the Tatsfield bus stop as I didn't fancy standing around in the cold. I pedalled off from the green alone, but while the snow had gone, it was much colder than yesterday. I had the beany hat and balaclava combo on my head today, a scarf, the aforementioned rusty old jacket, a pair of trousers covered in white paint and an uncomfortable pair of gloves that were still wet from yesterday's lunacy.
On the way back we saw what looked like a nasty car accident. An ambulance and police car were in attendance and there was a small car – something like a Renault Clio or a Corsa, or even a Toyota Aygo – upturned in a field and some way from the road. How? That was the question we kept asking ourselves as we cycled past. It must have happened after 0800hrs, although Andy reached the bus stop from along The Ridge, not the 269, so he wouldn't have seen anything. We were guessing but the car must have been travelling very fast, lost control, mounted the verge, smashed right through the Hawthorn bushes and turned itself over. There were other cars parked up on the verge so I'm guessing they were involved or purely witnesses.
How seriously hurt those involved in the accident might have been we didn't dare to guess, but when we reached the junction at Beech Road the ambulance passed us slowly and without its sirens blazing – it could have meant that all was fine and that there was no need to rush or that there was no point in hurrying back as those inside were dead.